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Happy Birthday Dasheill Hammett

Famed crime noir author Dasheill Hammett was born this day 130 years ago. Today, he is best remembered for writing the novels and short stories that inspired the adventures of Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, and The Glass key.

We were fortunate enough to find this seldom seen, Made-For-TV adaptation of his novel The Glass Key:

And, of course, our sister shop Hemlock Bazaar has a bit of Hammett to celebrate as well.

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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Pay No Attention To The Megazord-Sized Child

KSPR EPISODE 9 TRANSCRIPT

Nelson: Alright, time for the cold open that everybody loves.

Ethan: Oh yeah, me typing up the expanded intro script here.

Nelson: Yeah, because the cold opens are always scripted. That’s what people don’t know. We plan these out.

Andrew: My niece just turned 16, my stepsister’s kid. And she had a birthday party where she invited all her friends over and they played the family edition of Cards Against Humanity. Do you know about this?

Nelson: There’s a family edition?

Andrew: There’s a family edition and it’s the most boring thing.

Nelson: That sounds awful.

Andrew: It’s really, really, really bad. So if you can imagine just a bunch of teenagers sitting on the back porch of this woman’s house like, trying to find something scandalous in the family edition of Cards Against Humanity. I felt bad for everybody involved.

Nelson: Yeah, that sounds pretty rough. It’s like, how can we be offensive but not offensive?

Andrew: How can we be offensive but approved by conservative Mormons?

Nelson: All right.

Ethan: All right. (Absolutely unintelligible) So three, two, one, clap.

Andrew?: Let’s do it.

Nelson: All right, R.I.P. Toriyama-sama. All right.

Ethan: Three, two, one. [Clap.]

Nelson: Close enough.

[“It’s morphin’ time!” + intro music]

Ethan: 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, everybody. My name is Andrew. I also use he/him pronouns

Nelson: And producer Nelson here.

Ethan: And Nelson is joining us once again today.

Nelson: He’in’ and him’in’.

Andrew: He’in’ and him’in’.

Nelson: He’in’ and him’in’.

Ethan: No incidents on the drive up today?

Nelson: No.

Ethan: Smooth sailing?

Nelson: Smooth sailing.

Ethan: That’s what we like to hear.

Andrew and Nelson: Yeah…

Nelson: ‘S pretty chill, pretty chill.

Ethan: Today, we are discussing Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger episode 9, “Hashire! Tamago Oji (Run! Prince of the Eggs)”. If you take it literally, it’s literally “Run! Egg Prince,” which is pretty funny. And Power Rangers, season 1, episode 9, “For Whom the Bell Trolls,” which is just a terrible pun.

Andrew: It’s barely even a pun.

Ethan: It’s barely a pun. It’s one-

Nelson: It’s barely even an episode.

Ethan: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: I mean… give us a minute.

Ethan: We do have two things we need to talk about before we get into the show proper, concerning two people formerly connected to Power Rangers, Haim Saban himself and Austin St. John. As we mentioned in episode 1, Haim Saban is a hardcore Zionist and is currently, at the time of this writing in March of 2024, hosting dinners and raising funds for AIPAC, the American-Israeli Political Action Committee, which money will go towards continuing the genocide against the people of Palestine. Obviously, this is evil and it sucks, and we entirely repudiate Saban’s politics. We don’t want to get sued, so we won’t say much more than that, but we want you to know where we stand. Do y’all want to chime in on that at all?

Nelson: Free Palestine.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ethan: Yep, that’s pretty much the message. Austin St. John, meanwhile, is attempting to start up an apparel line featuring quotations from notable figures in world history, including but not limited to Adolf Hitler.

Nelson: But mainly Hitler.

Ethan: Yeah. Obviously, this is also evil and it sucks. And it’s also just kind of boneheaded. And we repudiate this, obviously. This is a guy who’s been in hot water multiple times over the past couple years and just can’t seem to stop being a weird fascist.

Andrew: This is such an own goal, you know? It would have been such an easy thing for him to just not make t-shirts with Hitler quotes on them.
I’m amazed. I’m amazed that somebody thought, you know what I’m going to do?

Ethan: This is… yeah.

Nelson: Yeah.

Ethan: This has been the former Power Rangers assh*** update.

Andrew: Also, I will say all the Zyuanger episodes are back on Archive.org.
Power Rangers back too.

Nelson: Yeah, the Power Rangers have been back. Yeah, they came back like a week after we did that. That’s where I’ve been watching them. I mean, that’s not where I’ve been watching ’em!

Ethan: Listeners, if you fixed that problem, good job. I don’t know how or who, but…

Andrew: But thank you.

Nelson Yeah, somebody out there, you did it.

Andrew: It’s significant, but we’ll talk about that in the next episode.

Ethan: Yeah. Without further ado, let’s get into the recap.

[“Kyoryu Sentai… Zyuranger!!”]

Ethan: “Hashire! Tamago Oji” was written by Sugimura Noboru and directed by Ogasawara Takeshi. It is the first part of a two-parter concerning the last two dinosaur eggs in the world and the people appointed by God to protect them. This may be familiar to you, if you remember “Big Sisters,” this is the original footage from “Big Sisters.” I think I remarked in episode seven that Maria’s outfit is a clone of Emiko’s outfit from this episode. And it’s just so jarring. Because they’re two completely different kids. Anyway.

Nelson: Speaking of jarring, I love how this episode starts. It is a mile a minute, pun intended. And you’ll see why.

Ethan: We start off with Yuuro, Prince of the Apello tribe, and his two retainers, Crockle and Daisy, as they fly to Japan in search of the Zyurangers. Their magical, warping VW Beetle appears in a girl named Emiko’s house, followed shortly by Dora Cockatrice and a crew of Golems, and then again by the Zyurangers. Our heroes manage to fight off the attackers, but Dora Cockatrice steals Yuuro and Emiko away into his dimension. There, the children are confronted by Bandora. Yuuro defies her, and the children flee. This is the origin of the RADBUG.

Nelson: Yes.

Ethan: I think I remarked in our previous episode that I thought it was somebody’s grandfather’s invention, which is not terribly far off, but it’s Crockle’s weird magical warp speed VW Bug. Meanwhile, in the secret base below the Sakura Condo building, Crockle and Daisy explain to the Zyurangers why they have come. 170 million years ago, after Bandora’s banishment, all the dinosaurs were gone and only two eggs remained. The tribal elders sealed these in a magical chest.

Andrew: 170 million years ago, all the dinosaurs were gone?

Ethan: Yeah.

Andrew: Okay.

Ethan: If you go back to our research piece on-

Andrew: On dinosaurs!

Ethan: -dinosaurs and the timeline of life, you will know that dinosaurs didn’t exist yet. They were still to come 170 million years ago. Anyway.

Nelson: But they were gone though, so I mean, they were kinda…

Ethan: They hadn’t been yet! You can’t be gone if you have not yet been.

Nelson: I mean…

Ethan: It’s like, are you dead before you’re alive?

Nelson: Yeah! [Transcriber’s note: This question is still out, as far as I’m concerned.]

Technical Difficulties Future Nelson: So yeah, the tribal elders took these two eggs and they sealed them in a magical chest and cast them into the sea, like you do with all your most prized possessions, so that they might be preserved for the future. Eventually, the eggs washed up on Delos, the island where the Apello tribe lives, so Yuuro hid them away. But Bandora and her monsters attacked, causing the prince and his retainers to come seeking the aid of the Zyurangers. So Crockle helps the Zyurangers find Dora Cockatrice’s dimension with one of his inventions. They’re these goofy glasses that can see portals to other worlds that they all have a good laugh at. After a bit of searching, the rangers spot the portal and they ride right into it.
Yuuro and Emiko spot a restaurant in the woods in Dora Cockatrice’s dimension and sit down to eat, but it’s quickly revealed that this is a trap. As they flee and hide, Emiko spots Prince Yuuro’s tail and loudly declares him to be a monster, giving away their position and getting herself captured by Dora Cockatrice. As Emiko dangles precariously from a rope, Prince Yuuro explains that he’s actually a monkey, as is his whole tribe. In the ancient times, the Apello tribe were God’s orchard keepers, but Dora Cockatrice tricked them into eating the golden fruit so they were banished from heaven and cursed to live as monkeys until they could earn forgiveness.
Bandora antagonizes Yuuro, telling him that he must reveal the location of these eggs or Emiko will die, and so he does, but Dora Cockatrice cuts the rope anyway. Luckily, Daizyujin’s hand suddenly appears, catching Emiko out of the air and letting her down to safety. Bandora gloats as she escapes to Delos, turning Dora Cockatrice into a giant as she leaves. Yuuro, Crockle, Daisy, and Emiko pursue Bandora as the rangers fight and eventually defeat Dora Cockatrice. But this isn’t over, there’s a part two, to be continued.

Ethan: I had a couple of talking points for the talkback, which is what the f*** is going on with God? Who is God? Why is God? What is going on?

Nelson: It’s a very good question.

Ethan: The concept of God in Zyuranger. What’s the deal? Okay, we have-

Nelson: I mean, yeah, because it’s like, are the Beasts the gods? Or do they answer to a God?

Ethan: We have the Guardian Beasts, right, who are like the totems of the five ancient tribes, the Yamato, the Etofu, all the tribes that the Rangers come from. These are like their patron deities.

Nelson: But they’re not gods.

Ethan: They combine to form Daizyujin, who is like the living embodiment of a god. His name literally means like “Great Beast Spirit,” and he commands the Rangers as if he is a god. But this is not Daizyujin’s orchard, because they would just say that. It’s the heavenly orchard of golden fruit, but it is not Daizyujin’s. So who is this Kami, who is this God? Is it the Christian God?

Nelson: Maybe, maybe.

Ethan: I mean, I just have questions.

Nelson: Yeah, you know, there are Christians in Japan.

Ethan: There are Christians, famously.

Nelson: You guys have been watching Shogun on FX?

Andrew and Ethan: No.

Ethan: I was gonna- I thought you were going to say you’ve been watching Samurai Champloo, because that features into that also.

Nelson: There is that. There is that too. I probably am due a rewatch of that.

Ethan: And like my research topic will touch on this today, but yeah, I have just so many questions about… What is the cosmology here?

Nelson, doing his best Jerry Seinfeld: What’s the deal with God?

Ethan: Who is this deity that has these golden orchards?

Nelson: I think it might be like God-God, you know?

Ethan: Yeah, I don’t know.

Nelson: It’s the big man upstairs in the white robe.

Andrew: So you’ve seen more of Zyuranger than I have. Does God continue to feature

Ethan: Satan does. God? Not that I recall.

Andrew: So this isn’t a situation like you run into in like, the- towards the end of Dragon Ball where they’re like, yeah, this is the Supreme God and then this is the God of Gods and then this is the God of the Universe.

Nelson: Oh, yeah, and get in the whole Supreme Kai nonsense, Jesus Christ.

Ethan: No, they don’t really- Yeah, I have so many questions. And like, we’ll get into it a little bit with the research, but the research really only looks at the parts of this cosmology as they exist in our world and not in theirs, which is extremely confusing and strange.

Andrew: Yeah, baffling. I didn’t really think about it when I was watching the episode, you know? But there is such a mystical element to everything that’s happening on the Zyuranger side. And again, it’s been about a month since the last time I watched any of these, so I was coming into this, like, having put a lot of the mythology out of my head, you know? And coming back to it, yeah, there’s some implications to this.

Neslon: All right. Now for the Ranger recap.

Ethan: Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! We have to go back to the beginning of the episode, because I made a note here, which is that Barza’s weird ear comes back.

Nelson: Yes, I was going to say that! The weird ear comes back!

Andrew: I forgot that entirely!

All: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ethan: I noticed that and I was like, oh sh- I was- because I thought it never showed up again in the show. But it actually- it shows up again.

Nelson: And it stays!

Ethan: And it’s still stuck to the side of his head when he like, turns around and you get like a full on- And so we just wanted to shout out to Barza’s weird ear, completely forgotten until I looked at my notes just there.

Andrew: I made note of that when I was watching the thing and then had completely forgotten. Yeah, the worst bit of the first episode of Zyuranger comes back.

Nelson: Barza’s weird ear made a return.

Ethan: It can hear a car in warp space.

Nelson: Yeah. Also, return of Barza. He hasn’t been back-

Ethan: Yeah, Barza’s back! It’s always good to see Barza.

Nelson: Yeah.

Ethan: Okay. That was- definitely the last thing. I think that about wraps it up for Zyuranger this week, so you want to get us our Rangers recap?

Andrew: Yeah.

[“Go! Go! Power Rangers!”]

Andrew: We’re talking about Power Rangers, “For Whom the Bell Trolls.” This episode was written by Jeff Deckman, Ronnie Sperling, and Stuart St. John. That’s three people. Just keep in mind as you’re watching this episode that it was written by three people. It was directed by Robert Hughes.
I do want to call out before I even get into the recap: I read some interviews about the production of this episode. And this episode was written by Jeff Deckman. Ronnie Sperling made some contributions, but it was mostly written by Jeff Deckman. Stuart St. John wrote one scene. And it is the thing that takes this from being what was almost a good episode to being a very, very bad episode.

Nelson: Is it the last scene?

Andrew: It is the last scene. That’s all Stuart St. John’s fault.

Nelson: All right. You’ll see what that is.

Andrew: So yeah. And directed by Robert Hughes. Okay. Recap: We open in the high school. We meet their teacher for the first time. She comes back frequently, but here they’re doing show and tell for some reason.

Nelson: Well, they call it Hobbies Week.

Andrew: They do call it Hobbies Week, but they don’t call it Hobbies Week out of the gate. Out of the gate, they’re just doing show and tell with no context. Trini, specifically, is doing show and tell. She has dolls, and she shows off some of her dolls. And one of them is Mr. Ticklesneezer. Mr. Ticklesneezer is terrible.
While they’re doing the show and tell, Rita is watching for some reason, because even though she wants the destruction of Earth, she spends all her time just watching the Power Rangers through her magic telescope. We get a cutaway to Rita long enough to establish that she is watching and then we’re back to show and tell. I do want to point out here: the bit that they dubbed for Rita here was probably the best dubbing I’ve seen.

Nelson: Yeah!

Ethan: I noticed that as well. It was very well done.

[“That Trini… has had it!”]

Andrew: So back to show and tell. Jason is spinning a stick.

Nelson: It is funny because I was watching this and when Jason went up, I was like, all right, Jason’s going to do karate and…

Andrew: He’s just starts spinning in a stick! Zack pretends to surf, which I thought was a choice, considering that they’ve already established that he’s like a really excellent dancer. And then Kimmy does some gymnastics, which appears to terrify their teacher.

Nelson: Well, I mean, she did a handstand on a desk, and like, I’m pretty sure that was all Amy Jo Johnson because they had her face in camera and everything.

Andrew: Yeah, there was there was no stunt actor there. It was an impressive, like, “I’m going to do this thing.” And then Billy does like, your typical like, middle school science fair volcano.

Ethan: It’s so much grosser than that, though.

Andrew: It’s got this really bright pink slime. But I’m calling this out specifically because Billy- it has been demonstrated that this man can make things that far exceed the capacity of any other human on the planet.

Ethan: He’s like a genius inventor.

Andrew: And what he shows off for show and tell for Hobby Week is a pink slime volcano, a bad middle school science experiment.

Nelson: Okay, I think it’s the Incredibles theory here, though.

Andrew: You think he’s trying to hide his level?

Ethan: Ohhhhhhhh.

Nelson: Yes. He can’t be like, “Oh, I’m a super genius!” Or else they’ll be like, “Ehh, maybe you might be a Power Ranger.”

Andrew: OK, yeah, I’ll buy that.

Ethan: I can see that.

Nelson: He’s got to be just as smart as everybody else.

Ethan: We’re having to reach a little. I think that does track. But like he did invent a more sophisticated communicator than the Apple Watch, which requires no Bluetooth connection, no external power. I don’t know how he did that, but it kicks ass. Anyway.

Andrew: It’s at this point that we find out this is Hobby Week and not just show and tell. Which was just, again, a really weird choice. It’s not that weird of a choice when the target audience for the show is is eight year olds. But this clearly establishes that the target audience for the show is eight year old.

Nelson: We get a little Bulk and Skull action near the end.

Andrew: At this point, Bulk and Skull take Trini’s doll.

Ethan: They’re like, heckling the whole time.

Andrew: Yeah. They specifically take Mr. Ticklesneezer and, of course, this ends with Bulk humiliated this time by the slime from the volcano.

Nelson: Well-deserved this time, I will give you that.

Andrew: Oh, it is frequently well-deserved. They wrote these characters to be little s***.

Nelson: Yeah, but I mean, I think I think this time it’s probably up there. He got a mouthful of goo. And then Skull got a face full of goo.

Andrew: Yeah. So they cut to Trini’s bedroom, which is full of even more dolls. All the dolls she had for show and tell and then way, way more.

Ethan: If we’re assuming that Trini is 17, high school senior, this is so weird.

Andrew: It is a weird amount of dolls.

Ethan: She lives in a Victorian style home, she wears a nightdress to sleep, and her entire room is covered in collectible dolls. I’m just getting totally incomprehensible vibes.

Nelson: Big grandma vibes.

Ethan: Yeah.

Andrew: So we cut back to Rita and her henchmen and they are scheming. The assorted monsters are sent to take Mr. Ticklesneezer. Why? Who knows? This is accomplished by a genuinely tense segment. It’s one of the first like actual tense segments of the show. They do teleportation, there’s a lot of like shadows and then Mr. Ticklesneezer is made full size and taken to Rita’s palace.

Ethan: I wrote ‘They got Ticklesneezer with the motherf*** ing doohickey.’ [Transcriber’s note: Rest in piss Abe Shinzo, you fascist ghoul.]

Nelson: They really did.

Andrew: No explanation as to how they’ve done this. Every monster we’ve seen up to this point with maybe one exception has been created by Finster.

Ethan: Yeah, I think the crucial part here is that Baboo does not take the doll and leave, and then they zap him and make him a person. He zaps Ticklesneezer in Trini’s bedroom, with Trini asleep five feet away.

Andrew and Nelson: Yeah!

Ethan: I mean, I guess it makes sense because Baboo is kind of dopey, but it is such a weird situation.

Andrew: They take the full size Ticklesneezer to Rita’s palace on the moon. And Mr. Ticklesneezer proceeds to explain that he collects things in his magic jar. They use a shot of Rita and Mr. Ticklesneezer over and over again, like, just cutting back and forth between them in a way that like deeply unsettled me.

Ethan: Rita is being very weird here, in that she is speaking only in couplets. So like all of the monsters that Finster makes already acknowledge her as their mistress; she doesn’t have to convince them of anything. But she is like conscripting Ticklesneezer here.

Nelson: That’s probably how she put him under her spell.

Andrew: I mean, I’ll address that, because she did not put him under any spell. But she does- she bullies him into collecting things on Earth.

Ethan: Tokyo Tower…

Andrew: I did note here that Ticklesneezer is one of the worst suits we’ve seen so far.

Ethan: It’s bad.

Andrew: In all of the like, costumes that Power Rangers has. And some of them are not especially great, you know, but this one appears amateurish.

Nelson: It looks very sundamaged.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean, it just it looks like they’ve dusted off a really old, badly-made costume and they’re like, “We’re just going to reuse this one.”

Ethan: I think Nelson is picking up on what I kind of picked up on, between the Japanese and U.S. footage, the suit seems to have deteriorated somewhat and maybe been patched up somehow. Did it look a little gooier?

Nelson: It looked- Yeah, it looks weirdly gooey.

Ethan: I thought- OK, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that.

Andrew: No, like it was breaking down.

Ethan: The original character that Ticklesneezer is based on is Fairy Dondon. The plot is essentially the same, you know, he’s sort of a hapless goofball who just does collect stuff in his magic jar and Bandora more or less tricks him into doing that on Earth.

Nelson: My problem with this monster, this costume, is just the stereotypically Asian like, look to it. Like it’s got this old stereotypical Asian villager- Like it’s very like, “Uohohoh?”, you know what I mean?

Ethan: He’s a very weird. He’s a weird mishmash of…

Nelson: The teeth, and the eyes… And it’s… [alarmed noises] you know? I don’t- mm. Hmmm.

Andrew: So he sets about collecting things with his magic jar. He calls them his goodies, yes.

Ethan: I wrote here, ‘If I had a nickel for every time tiny people were stuck in a tiny vehicle, I’d have two nickels, which isn’t much, but it’s weird that it happened twice.’

Andrew: So he collects the car that Billy and Trini are in. They are shrunken down to a very small size.

Ethan: Which is like, an adorable little hatchback.

Andrew: “I don’t want to hurt you. Just add you to my collection,” he says. At this point, for absolutely no reason, Rita sends Goldar to earth. Jason and Zach are in the rec center and they are sparring and they proceed to break some boards with their fists. This gives the writers a perfect opportunity to humiliate Bulk and Skull some more.

Nelson: He cuts a cake.

Andrew: Bulk decides to smash a cake. Now, as soon as they cut over to Bulk and Skull, Ernie sets this cake down behind them. It was very much Chekhov’s cake. And I’m glad that in this instance-

Ethan: It was the same thing with the veggie chili in episode whatever it was.

Nelson: Oh, where’s this going?

Ethan: As soon as some food gets mentioned, you’re like, “Oh, Bulk’s head is going in there.”

Andrew: And I was really relieved in this case that it was just his hand. The bit here is that he is- “Oh, I can smash a board. Anybody can smash a board.” And he karate chops the cake and hurts his hand. It’s not a good bit.

Nelson: I mean, he did set the bench press record.

Andrew: He did!

Nelson: Before Jason broke it. Let’s not forget that.

Andrew: So the Rangers are called away and they are shown, by Zordon, Mr. Ticklesneezer, as he captures an airplane out of the sky. Zordon says that Mr. Ticklesneezer is under a spell, but he explicitly is not. He volunteered for this work. He was like, “Hey, I want to go out and collect goodies.” And Rita was like, “Yeah, go do that thing that you do.”

Nelson: Gotta give him the benefit of the doubt, you know? I think that’s what Zordon was doing.

Andrew: So the remaining Rangers, minus Billy and Trini, morph and are suddenly fighting Putties. There’s no transition here. It’s just morphing, fighting putties immediately.

Nelson: Well, the transformation is the transition.

Andrew: I guess.

Nelson: If we’re going by Power Rangers logic.

Andrew: Ticklesneezer trips and loses his bottle. But then Goldar attacks the bottle and the bottle is wedged on some train tracks. This again in this episode was a genuinely tense moment. Are Billy and Trini going to die? Well, obviously, of course not. But like it was- it did not look like they were going to be able to save them. They did a good job at this.
Of course, they do save Billy and Trini. Billy and Trini are freed and immediately transform. And then Billy especially just proceeds to kick so much ass. Just- the Blue Ranger steps in and is immediately taking on like four putties at a time. Mr. Ticklesneezer meanwhile is upset that he lost his bottle. Rita comes to Earth. We don’t see her come to Earth. She’s just suddenly there and takes this moment to make Mr. Ticklesneezer grow.

Ethan: He specifically says, “Oh, Empress Rita, what’s up?”

Nelson: “Hey, what’s up, dude?”

[“Oh, Empress Rita… What’s up?”]

Andrew: All the other monsters retreat back to Rita’s palace, apparently.

Nelson: And that’s because they’re being threatened with being put in the jar. Like the the Megazord gets the jar, and there’s a child here.

Andrew: Hold on, I’ll get there. So Mr. Ticklesneezer was sad, he was sulking that he didn’t have his bottle. And when Rita is there, she’s like, “Why haven’t you captured the Power Rangers?” And he’s like, “I don’t have my bottle!” They make him big, and suddenly he’s got his bottle again with absolutely no explanation.

Ethan: I mean, it’s sort of an established convention, when you get giant, like- it’s like-

Andrew: You get your weapon back?

Ethan: Your weapons and all your health and stuff back.

Andrew: So Jason summons the Dinozord and the Dinozord sequence is just so cool, no matter how many times I see it. They immediately go Megazord, which is the preferable option. They don’t mess around with tank mode. Ticklesneezer opens his bottle and captures the Power Rangers. Somehow they use the Mega Sword to escape. It’s not really explained. They also, I think, call it by the wrong- the Mega Sword.

Ethan: Yeah, not the Power Sword.

Andrew: Right. They call it the Mega Sword, which was, again, a weird thing. The Rangers then use- attempt to use the bottle to collect Rita. Now, in every shot of the Megazord, there is just an unexplained Japanese boy standing next to the Megazord.

Nelson: There was a child there! I was- ohhhh my god!

Ethan: I didn’t notice this.

Nelson: You didn’t notice? There’s a whole kid!

Andrew: In every shot of the Megazord, there’s a Japanese boy standing next to him, and he’s like waist-height on the Megazord. So this is a giant child. There is a giant child.

Nelson: Yeah! Yeah!

Ethan: I completely missed the giant child.

Nelson: Oh yeah, you go back, you’re going to be like, “Wait, what, huh?”

Andrew: And obviously, this is because they just didn’t edit the kid out of the mask footage, but it’s just such a weird thing in this episode that already feels really slapdash.

Nelson: Which I think explains why they added the last scene, because they realized, ooh, we f***ed up.

Andrew: Yeah, we’re not doing it over again.

Nelson: We got to explain why this is so weird.

Andrew: So at this point, Ticklesneezer has many bottles, not just one. Up to this point, he’s only been shown with one bottle, and sometimes it’s full, and sometimes it’s empty. But now he’s just opening a bunch of bottles, and they’re all different sizes, and he’s releasing the bullet train and Tokyo Tower and-

Ethan: All the other normal California stuff.

Andrew: Yeah, the other normal California stuff. And Kimmy is weirdly maternal to him, and is like, “You better put it all back!”

Nelson: Let it go~…

Andrew: Cool, so all of that was real weird. And then we have a close-up on Trini sleeping. And we were given this implication that it was all a dream, right? And she wakes up, and she looks, and Mr. Ticklesneezer is gone. And so we have that horror movie moment of, ‘Oh, it wasn’t all a dream.’ And then the camera pans down, and Mr. Ticklesneezer is just on the floor. So Trini has rats, apparently, that have knocked her doll off of her dresser.
And then to round out the episode, normally we would make fun of Bulk and Skull again. This time we go back to the classroom, and they show off their flea circus, and the teacher is infested with fleas. And I thought it was a nice ending that we didn’t make fun of Bulk and Skull.

Ethan: Yeah, it’s interesting to note that actually both of their first names are given in this episode.

Andrew: Yeah, I’ve got that written here in my notes.

Ethan: Farkas and Eugene, and this is such an old guy joke, of a flea circus? I mean, I know what they are just because, you know, I listened to swing music, or I don’t know. Or like I watched Disney’s Antz that has a flea running a circus, and maybe I-

Nelson: No, that was A Bug’s Life.

Ethan: Oh, that was A Bug’s Life.

Nelson: Yeah, A Bug’s Life, yeah.

Ethan: What did I say? Disney’s Antz? That’s Dreamworks!

Nelson: Yeah, that’s Dreamworks.

Ethan: Totally wrong. Totally wrong. No fleas in Antz.

Andrew: The basic idea, though, with your flea circus is that it was a mechanical circus. It was a clockwork thing. And the idea was that you said, “Oh, no, I have trained fleas to operate all of this equipment.” So it’s like a really weird double half joke.

Ethan: That you can tell was written by old guys. Which, I mean, I don’t know, maybe that fits with Bulk and Skull’s character. Like, maybe they like, live with their grandparents rather than their parents. And so they’re into, like, hokey old stuff.

Nelson: Well, you’ll see later that they do live with their parents. We meet their parents in a later episode.

Ethan: Oh. Maybe their parents are just really, really old school. I mean, I don’t know.

Nelson: That might track.

Andrew: All right, so my first thought going into this episode. I’ve had a lot going on in the last, like, month. I opened a bookstore and as a byproduct of that, this episode was the longest gap I’ve had since we started this, between watching episodes, and after having taken a break away from Power Rangers for a few weeks and coming back to it.
This was also the first episode I watched on my TV instead of at my desk. So the first episode I watched with, like, a proper sound system instead of at a computer. And the intro to Power Rangers is just so good.

Nelson: Yeah, it gets me every time.

Andrew: It’s incredible. The theme song is magnificent. And that was the first thing that stood out to me, which just how good that was. Yeah, I mean, it’s incredible. OK, so for me, this episode was a really mixed bag. On the one hand, it had some of the best sequences from an episode of Power Rangers so far. On the other hand, it was all a dream. And I hate that.

Nelson: Yeah, I hate that kind of cop out in an episode.

Andrew: So according to the Power Rangers Wiki, through BreezeWiki, and they actually referenced an interview that I read in its entirety, that all being a dream was a last minute addition. They brought in a second and third writer to try and salvage this thing because they just didn’t like how it was going. And it was a cop out. It was a last minute, we’re going to throw this- and it didn’t work.
As I said earlier, I really appreciated that Bulk and Skull weren’t the object of the final joke. I loved seeing Rita on the ground during the battle. It was it was like actually really thrilling for her to be a part of things. And she made the whole battle sequence that much more menacing. But it was just a dream, apparently. And this implies that Trini knows the- or has imagined the exact layout of Rita’s palace.

Ethan: …Yeah.

Andrew: As you mentioned, this is the episode where we learned that Bulk and Skull are named Farkas and Eugene.

Ethan: I don’t remember if we mentioned on air that Farkas is the Hungarian word for wolf.

Nelson: Yeah, we did.

Ethan: Like that’s a pretty badass first name, last name, Bulkmeier. So like-

Andrew: Big wolf!

Ethan: It’s a pretty solid name. Bulkmeier is made up, but it’s pretty good. Eugene, there’s no saving Eugene. I’m sorry. Just stick with Skull. You’ll be fine.

Andrew: I did also write down on my notes: I think that this is the first time that the blue monster shows up in Rita’s entourage. According to the wiki, his name is Squat, and he was my favorite as a child.

Nelson: Yeah, the vampire thing.

Andrew: Yeah.

Nelson: No, he was in the…

Ethan: So there’s…

Nelson: He was in the episode with the chicken.

Andrew: No, the chubby blue monster.

Ethan: Yeah, that’s Squat. So he has been around, but this is definitely the most active he has been. So he and Baboo are like a troll and a vampire. And they are just sort of bumbling, hapless, helpless goons. I mean, you know, you’ve got Goldar or Grifforzer as your like actual muscle. He’s the actually scary one. He’s got a big sword. He’s based on a manticore, apparently. They’re very sort of yakety sax. Run around like headless chickens, like… But this- he actually was given a mission and did the thing, which was cool.

Andrew: Yeah. That’s all I got. What did you think of this episode, Ethan?

Ethan: I mean, I’m a little less upset by the ending. I mean, I think there’s still some ambiguity there. Like, Ticklesneezer fell on his own accord because he’s still got a little bit of that magic juice left in him. And, you know, sometimes when you wake up, you’re not sure which things that you’ve experienced are real and a dream. I’ve definitely had dreams that felt extremely vivid and real, and been through real life things that felt like a dream. So I think there’s a little bit more ambiguity there. And but I mean, I think in general that it was all a dream is a cop out, and is not a great way to tidy up your episode. But sitcom people love it for whatever reason, or soap opera, or whatever.
I have so many questions about Trini’s home life and like, she lives in this really nice, beautiful Victorian house, but she wears like an old granny nightdress to sleep, which seems weird for a 17 year old girl in California in 1992 or 3. And then just all the dolls. There’s dozens of them and they are all over the walls in her room. I just have a lot of questions about that.

Andrew: Did you ever meet my great grandmother?

Ethan: No.

Andrew: Okay.

Ethan: Well, I might have met her once or twice, in passing, briefly.

Andrew: So when I was little, I spent a lot of time at my great grandmother’s house. And she was, obviously, an old lady, but she was living on her own. Her husband had passed away shortly before I was born. And so she spent the last like 25 years of her life working, driving to work every day. And she had more money than she needed to live on.
And so what she did when she had extra money is she bought dolls. And her whole house was full of dolls. And there were rooms that were just floor to ceiling dolls on tiered shelving. And they were terrifying.

Nelson: Yeah, that sounds unpleasant.

Ethan: Yeah, my mom had one, and it had the the eyes that tilt depending on how you move the doll.

Nelson: Oh, I hate that. Big nope on that man.

Ethan: (mimicking his mom) “It’s not creepy, it’s cute! I loved playing with this when I was a kid!” Keep it. Keep it.

Nelson: Keep that and keep those.

Andrew: All right, Nelson, how about you? What did you think of this episode?

Nelson: Oh, man, besides the weirdly semi-racist doll, I liked it.
I like that Billy was playing fixer a lot in this, you know, helping Trini find her doll, helped her with her keys, for some reason. She’s got a little pom pom on her- little yellow pom pom on her keys, so that was nice. Little nice touches like that, besides the fact that they wear their colors all the time. But yeah, the dream thing, total cop out, big, big cop out there. Yeah. So the fact that there’s just a kid in the in the whole kaiju sequence.

Andrew: I’m really looking forward to seeing this mask footage in context.

Nelson: I mean, even when you like you go back and see it, there’s just-

Andrew: He’s just standing there.

Nelson: There’s just a kid, just standing there.

Andrew: Yeah, and he’s Megazord-sized.

Nelson: It’s just- he’s just standing next to the Megazord.

Ethan: I completely missed that. I don’t know how I completely missed that.

Nelson: Yeah, because they cut back to it like more than once. Like, because the first time I thought I was like, “Mm, I’m trippin.” because I was, you know, I was eating breakfast while I was watching it. So I was like, ah, maybe I missed this. I went back. No, there’s a whole kid. He’s just there.

Andrew: I don’t know that I would have noticed it if I if I was watching it on at my desk on my computer, but like, watching it on my big TV. Like this was a life-sized child just standing in my living room. I’m going to see if the wiki has a picture of it.

Ethan: Oh! Yeah! No, he’s just right there!

Andrew: He’s just right there!

Ethan: Who is this child? I don’t remember the Fairy Dondon episode at all. Which one is he in? Let me see. That’s not till episode 14, which is called “Become Small!” And I don’t remember it at all.

Nelson: This episode with Fairy Dondon is going to be interesting. Maybe everything shrinks except for where they are?

Ethan: That’s what the bottle, the magic bottle, does, is it shrinks things into it.

Nelson: So yeah, maybe they were like in there with, I don’t know.
It was very weird. But yeah, other than that, I will give this episode a six out of 10. Who’s got the research today?

Ethan: Okay, so my research topic today is kind of three mini-topics put together.

Nelson: Research sandwich.

Ethan: Yeah, a little research sandwich. So I’ve got the cockatrice, the Garden of the Hesperides and the Garden of Eden. I’m just so intrigued by the mythology remix going on in this episode and the next one. So the first thing we have is the cockatrice. The word first shows up in English in the 14th century as a stand-in for snakes in the Bible, with the etymology tracing back through old French and Latin to Greek. But the Greek word actually seems to refer to like a mongoose-like creature that’s an enemy of dragons and snakes.
The cockatrice and the basilisk have often been conflated with one another, with various different recipes resulting in either a cockatrice or a basilisk, such as hatching a chicken’s egg under a toad for a basilisk or under a snake for a cockatrice. It pretty much has nothing to do with the other two parts of this segment, the Garden of the Hesperides or the Garden of Eden, and has even less historical precedents than like, a sphinx, for example.
It’s been like a popular mythical monster since that point. But tales of the sphinx or of the hydra or Cerberus go back, you know, 2000 years. So the cockatrice is a really, really weird one. It’s supposed to have like the body of a chicken and the wings of a dragon or a bat and like a snake’s tail and can breathe fire or turn you to stone or who knows what.

Andrew: I just thought it was a funky chicken.

Ethan: Yeah, no, that’s a chunky chicken. So next part, the Garden of the Hesperides is a location detailed in the 12 Labors of Heracles, where Heracles must go to obtain three golden apples to fulfill his 11th labor. The garden is tended by three, or sometimes four, or maybe seven goddesses or nymphs, known as the Hesperides and also guarded by a dragon called Ladon.
In some versions of the myth, Heracles convinces the Titan Atlas to retrieve the apples for him, as in some versions of the myth, Atlas is the father of the Hesperides. But in other versions, Heracles goes to the Garden himself and slays Ladon to take the golden apples. The Argonauts would also later visit the Garden. This is pretty clearly the inspiration for the heavenly orchard that the Apello Tribe once tended. So like nothing about the garden of Eden deals with golden fruit. So the Garden of the Hesperides is where the golden fruit part comes from. But there’s no tribe of people who tends to them. They’re just goddesses or nymphs. And sometimes, I mean, if you read the Wikipedia article, you’ll see they have like eight different possible parentages, depending on which version of the myth you’re reading. So it’s not that important.
But lastly, we have the Garden of Eden, which probably most of the listeners of this podcast will be familiar with, but the Garden of Eden is where the God of Abraham is said to have created the first two humans in a state of grace and perfect innocence, instructing them only to never eat the fruit of knowledge. A serpent convinces them to eat the fruit anyway, and they are cast out, having lost their innocence, bearing knowledge of good and evil. In Zyuranger, Dora Cockatrice plays the part of the serpent, which fits one of its possible origins as being hatched under a snake. But the fruit is the golden fruit of the Hesperides, not the fruit of knowledge of good and evil.
This mishmash of myth and tradition is fascinating to me because it demonstrates a difference in perspective. To the Japanese creators of Super Sentai, Greek myth, Abrahamic tradition, and a made-up monster with scant historical references are all sort of on equal ground as far as inspiration for their story goes. There’s not a lot of remixing of Abrahamic and specifically Christian mythos in this country, especially because evangelicals absolutely lose their minds if someone makes Jesus a character in a video game or something. Another really interesting example of this is the manga and anime Saint Young Men, which features Jesus and Buddha as modern-day roommates. I am just intrigued by the process.

Nelson: Oh, so it’s like that MTV show with the… You know what I’m talking about? Where they’ve got JFK and Gandhi.

Ethan: Oh, Clone High.

Nelson: Clone High, yeah!

Ethan: It’s not like Clone High.

Nelson: Well, I will check it out while I’m working on this episode.

Andrew: I mean, that’s- my apologies for the third Dragon Ball reference in this episode, but that’s also how Dragon Ball kind of comes into existence.

Ethan: It does a lot of stuff like that.

Andrew: It’s Journey to the West. It’s Journey to the West, filtered through pop culture, with a bunch of other bits of mythology thrown in and then a bunch of sci-fi nonsense and stuff that came out of Toriyama’s head. But it starts off with that same kind of mythological underpinning. I made the connection to Eden when I was watching this one. Like, yeah, they ate the apple. They got turned into monkeys. That’s weird. But I did not make the connection back to the Labors of Heracles, which I guess is a really obvious connection to make when you remember that it’s a golden apple. How much further are we going to go with the golden apple metaphor? Do we have a Helen of Troy?

Ethan: No. So that’s interesting that you mentioned that, though, because Eris’s apple of discord comes from this- in some versions of the myth, comes from this orchard. Sometimes it’s one tree. Sometimes it’s an orchard. Sometimes it’s Hera’s orchard.

Andrew: The only other reference I have in my head for this orchard is Eris.

Ethan: I don’t think this particular facet of myth comes back to feature, but again, I could be wrong. I’ve completely, like I mentioned earlier, have completely forgotten the context of Fairy Dondon. Or why there’s a Megazord-sized boy in that episode. But yeah, just the way that the creators of Super Sentai feel comfortable taking these bits of Abrahamic myth, when that would never happen in this country. Anytime somebody makes, like, Dante’s Inferno video game or, I mean, what’s- I’m sure you have an example of…

Andrew: I’ve got an example. I’ve got, I think, what is the exception here. Do you remember Bedazzled?

Ethan: Did that have, what was Sabrina’s, Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s actress?

Andrew: I don’t think so. It had Brendan Frasier.

Ethan: Oh, and Elizabeth Hurley!

Andrew: Yeah, and Elizabeth Hurley.

Ethan: I don’t think I’ve ever actually watched that movie, but I’ve looked at the cover.

Andrew: Okay, so it came out in, like, 2001 or 2000, and the basic premise is Elizabeth Hurley is the Christian devil, and she gives Brendan Frasier seven wishes to make his life better. And along the way, he meets Jesus, apparently, who is just, like, a dude he meets in prison? Yeah, so point being, every once in a while, somebody will try it and get away with it. Not mixing, but at least making light of. And this movie was wildly successful, but it really had to toe a line, and there was massive outrage.

Ethan: Oh, yeah.

Nelson: Movie sounds awesome.

Andrew: Have you seen it?

Nelson: No, but I’m gonna watch this. Jesus is just a guy in prison?

Andrew: Yeah.

Nelson: Wow.

Andrew: For an early 2000s, very broad comedy, it holds up surprisingly well.

Nelson: Sounds fun.

Ethan: I watched The Devil’s Advocate not that long ago.

Nelson: Oh, I love that movie!

Ethan: With Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves being [drawls] a simple country lawyer. And I felt like that had such a cool, fun take on the devil and demons.

Andrew: When did that come out?

Ethan: ’97.

Andrew: Okay, so it’s interesting, because there was this time period, roughly, you know, 96, 97, up through like 2003 or so, where you could get away with that kind of thing. Did you see The Order? With…

Ethan: With Heath Ledger.

Andrew: Yeah, Heath Ledger.

Nelson: No, I know about it, but I haven’t seen it, no.

Andrew: It’s like half the crew from A Knight’s Tale, playing excommunicated Catholic priests who are searching for the Antichrist in order to enable one of their friends to not go to hell. It’s like, this dark psychological thriller with a bunch of demons in it. It was really good.

Nelson: Sounds pretty good.

Andrew: But, you know, so there was this time period where you could kind of sort of get away with playing with these Christian themes in your work. Matthew McConaughey’s Frailty comes out around the same time period where McConaughey is playing-

Ethan: I’m not familiar.

Andrew: Frailty, McConaughey is playing a man who has been touched by God. He has received the word of God.

Nelson: Where’d God touch him?

Andrew: And God has instructed him to go kill demons. And so Matthew McConaughey spends the movie just going around, taking a pickaxe to just random people on the street. And so you’re getting all of this from an interview with one of the main characters, who’s a police officer, and like, he’s recounting his version of these murders. And [McConaughey’s character]’s like, “No, they were all demons. God will protect me.” And as the audience, you’re like, oh, this is just a straight serial killer.
But as the movie wears on, you get more and more of the supernatural element creeping in. And like, this again was right in that same pocket where you could kind of get away with that. And you know, having grown up with that, I don’t really think about it too much when stuff like this comes up. But I cannot imagine any of those movies coming out today. Our political climate has gotten so polarized and specifically the religious contingent has gotten so loud. I grew up in a religious household. We had no Pokemon because Pokemon was the devil. You know?

Ethan: No, we grew up in the time of Harry Potter being the most Satanic thing anybody could think of, despite the fact that they celebrate Easter and Christmas, at the school, in the books every year.

Nelson: That’s weird.

Ethan: Yeah.

Nelson Yeah, that’s a…

Ethan: I mean, media literacy in like, an older segment of the population of this country really started crashing around 2000.

Andrew: 2001.

Ethan: And then like 9/11 happened and everybody lost their f***ing minds.

Nelson: there’s Y2K, 9/11.

Ethan: And it has not improved an iota since then.

Nelson: You know, people wonder how we got to 2016.

Andrew: I don’t want to go too far-

Nelson: Yeah, this is a Power Rangers podcast.

Andrew: I don’t want to go too far away from Power Rangers, but how many other like early 90s children’s properties have you revisited as an adult?

Ethan: Some, I would say definitely some.

Andrew: Yeah. Have either of you watched Pete and Pete?

Ethan: No.

Nelson: Dude, yeah! Okay, because it’s got the greatest theme song ever.

Andrew: “Hey, Sandy.”

Nelson: Yeah, by Polaris. I was just playing it one day and Xander’s like, “Oh, you like Pete and Pete?” And I was like, “The f*** are you talking about, man?” And he’s just like, “This is the theme song to Pete and Pete.” And I was like, this? This was a theme song to a television show?

Andrew: There’s lots of examples that I could use here. But I think Pete and Pete is the most salient one.

Nelson: The Adventures of Pete and Pete.

Andrew: This show was good. It was a very well-crafted show that kind of relished in the fact that they could be a little more absurd than they could be for an adult television show. But it never talked down to the kids that were watching it. It was a kind of post-modern surrealist masterpiece that was masquerading as a children’s program. We got stuff like that when we were kids. We also got Power Rangers. And like these two things existed in the same year, but on a weird kind of spectrum where Power Rangers was very brash and loud and fast and was there to sell toys. And Pete and Pete was somehow just like, art happening on TV.

Nelson: Yeah, it was a show about two dudes.

Andrew: Two brothers, both named Pete, for some reason. The younger one has a tattoo. Again, no real explanation given. Their mom has a plate in her head, with which she can pick up radio signals, and this is a plot point on multiple occasions. But Pete and Pete at its heart was about the fact that kids should be trusted and adults should not. And the older I get, the more it’s true.

Nelson: Yeah, I mean, trust me, I’m an adult.

Andrew: I should not be trusted.

Nelson: Don’t trust me.

Ethan: We kind of- we’re living now like- we’re sort of watching the TikTok hearings in Congress happen. And trying to explain to a 70 or 80 year old senator what TikTok is. And that’s when they’re not being actively racist, and like confronting the Singaporean CEO.

Nelson: “Do you have any ties to China?” “I’m from Singapore.”

Andrew: “Are you a member of the Chinese Communist Party?”

Nelson: “I’m from Singapore.” And it’s like, oh my God.

Ethan: This is the environment that we’re in and the environment we’ve been in for many years now.

Andrew: But there was a brief window-

Nelson: Yeah, we were so close.

Andrew: -from shortly before we were born, until around the time that we were coming of age where that is not how media was. And where something like this, something like this playing of Christian mythology alongside Greek mythology, that might have flown. You might have gotten away with it even in a children’s program. And Pete and Pete certainly plays with the idea of God on multiple occasions. And like, even the Rugrats do it every once in a while.

Nelson: They had a whole like, Jewish holiday episode.

Andrew: Multiples, yeah.

Ethan: I would really like to hear like a Jewish perspective, retrospective on Rugrats.

Andrew: Sure.

Nelson: Yeah, there are a couple of good ones on YouTube that I’ve seen.

Ethan: But like I’m thinking of Greed from Fullmetal Alchemist. Gets nailed to a chunk of floor at one point and transported back to his creator. And he is stapled to the floor. So in the Japanese version, he’s just- they just cut out the floor around him. So naturally it’s cross shaped; that’s just the shape that humans are. But in the localization, the English localization, they made an effort to fill in that space around it, so it specifically wouldn’t look like a crucifix. And it’s just- what difference does it make? It’s clearly- he’s not any kind of a Christ analog. He’s a really bad dude actually. But just it’s the climate in this country for decades now has been so touchy that like even going close to that Christian imagery, people will start to lose their mind.

Andrew: Did you ever watch the West Wing?

Nelson: Well, hold on, hold on. This is going to go on for days.

Andrew: Give me 30 seconds. You ever watched the West Wing? The whole show is just kind of really cheesy and somebody’s-

Nelson: Lotta walking and talking.

Andrew: But it’s somebody’s like idealized fantasy version of what politics-

Ethan: A friend of mine called it the platonic ideal of the American presidency. And that made a lot of sense to me.

Nelson: That’s beautiful.

Andrew: But Bartlett’s character, on more than one occasion, has to confront conservative Christians and confronts them and calls them out. And like it’s some of the few moments in the show that I think really stand up, you know?

Ethan: That first episode is a masterpiece.

Andrew: But then like, again, here we are two decades on. I can’t think of any show in recent years that has accurately portrayed the Christian church as the villains that they often are.

Ethan: They were the bad guys in a Far Cry game. But I don’t- it was like some cult in Kansas or something. I don’t know enough about it to really comment on it.

Andrew: All right, that’s that’s our episode.

Nelson: Do we have any announcements to close with before we depart?

Ethan: I don’t think so.

Andrew: Yeah, we’ve got one.

Nelson: Yeah, we got one! Bookstore’s open. Go to the bookstore.

Andrew: So everybody, you can find Hemlock Bazaar at HemlockBazaar.com. This is our new bookstore in downtown Ellijay and online. Books, records, pretty soon, manga and lots of movies and stuff.

Nelson: Yes.

Andrew: I’m really excited about it.

Nelson: Come to the bazaaaaaaar.

Andrew: I’ve worked on it a lot. That’s Hemlock Bazaar, B-A-Z-A-A-R, you know, like a marketplace, not like a weird person. Let’s do an outro.

Nelson: Right.

Ethan: We’ll be back next time to discuss episodes 10 of Zyuranger, “Saru wa mou iya (Monkeys No More)”, or “No More Monkey Business,” depending on who you ask. And Power Rangers, “Happy Birthday, Zack.” If you’ve enjoyed the show, please feel free to send me $5. And if you want to find me online, don’t. But you can follow the show on the Fediverse at KenkyuuSentaiPodcastRangers@Meet.CommunityMedia.Network. Andrew, how can people get in touch and what should they look out for?

Andrew: Yeah, you can find me @AJRoach42@Retro.Social on The Fediverse. And you should look out for my bookstore, which is now real. We’ve also got a couple of new albums coming out from Analog Revolution, most contemporarily with the release of this podcast should be Small.

Nelson: Small, the band.

Andrew: Yeah, Small, the band. Their first LP is going to be out from the Lightning Limited series from Analog Revolution and it slaps.

Nelson: Nice.

Ethan: Nelson, how about your shout outs?

Nelson: Hoo, well, go watch Working Class Music. You can watch it on this here network, where you’re watching this podcast. They’ve been getting me on more episodes lately. I don’t know why they keep wanting me to be on camera.

Andrew: I saw you playing guitar.

Nelson: Yeah, I got featured on PRS’s website and their Instagram.

Ethan: That’s cool.

Nelson: Yeah, so everybody’s dad knows who I am now.

Andrew: So when are we doing another Jon Thefruitman show?

Nelson: Oh, man, you didn’t get a John Thefruitman show to begin with.

Andrew: No, I got a Holders show and you broke two amps.

Nelson: Ah, phew, cause I rocked so f***ing hard

Andrew: That, you will also be able to catch New Ellijay Television soon.

Nelson: Hopefully we can edit out the bad parts. Make it good because it was quite…

Andrew: The man destroyed two amps and a pedal board.

Nelson: It was quite a sight. Yeah, but that’s it for me. I think that’s it for the podcast. We’ll be back next week with all the stuff that Ethan said.

Andrew: Two weeks.

Nelson: Two weeks.

Ethan: 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 EllijayMakerspace.org and you can learn more about the Cherokee people by visiting Cherokee.org. Strength, love, and solidarity to all oppressed people and in the words of a wise man, “F*** capitalism; go home.””

Nelson: Woo!

Andrew: Alright.

[Outro music]

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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 Eight – Real Eye Guys Realize Real Eye Lies

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 – S01E08 – Real Eye Guys Realize Real Eye Lies
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Ethan: Where are the cool communist bikers who just like, roam around? I mean-

Nelson: That’s how it used to be!

Andrew: Are we gonna be a roaming gang of cool communist bikers, Ethan?

Ethan: I would love-

Nelson: Is that we’re-

Andrew: Let’s buy some bikes.

Ethan: Learning to ride a motorcycle is on my bucket list. I would really enjoy that.

Nelson: Yeah.

Andrew: All right.

Nelson: Welcome to episode sevvv… eight.

[Clap.]

Ethan: Excellent.

Nelson: Hahha!

[“It’s morphin’ time!” + intro music]

Ethan: 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! I’m Andrew. I use he/him pronouns. I’m here!

Ethan: And also joining us again is our producer and irregular guest, Nelson. Welcome back.

Nelson: Yeah. What’s up? You guys know the deal. I’m still here.

Ethan: He’s always here anyway.

Nelson: But yeah, this is going to be a fun one, because I’m really sitting in the hot seat now, because I have not seen these episodes.

Ethan: Okay.

Andrew: It’s going to be fun.

Nelson: It’s going to be just like the first time I was on here.

Ethan: Well, you sort of have seen this episode.

Andrew: You’ve seen half of this episode.

Ethan: Because you watched “Food Fight” and “Kyofu! Shunkan’ui” is the source episode for that.

Nelson: Oh, so we’re still kind of on track.

Ethan and Andrew: Yeah! Yeah, yeah.

Ethan: So you’ve seen all of the mask footage, you just haven’t seen the Japan side face footage.

Nelson: Yeah. I don’t know how they made this good. If they did.

Ethan: Nelson is joining us to talk about the Sentai episode today, since it’s the same monster from episode six of Power Rangers. Today, we’re discussing Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger episode eight “Kyofu! Shunkan’ui (Terror! Eaten in an instant)” and Power Rangers, season one, episode eight, “I, Eye Guy,” which is definitely super easy to say. Unless we have anything else…

Nelson: Wait, is it like…

Ethan: It’s “I,”-

Andrew: The letter I-

Ethan: -personal pronoun I, comma, “Eye,” E Y E, “Guy.”

Nelson: Okay, so it’s not like, “Aye aye, guy!”

Andrew and Ethan: No, no.

Nelson: It’s not that?

Ethan: It’s hard to like-

Nelson: Why would they do that?

Ethan: Like, it’s easy to parse, but it’s hard to enunciate in a way that it’s clear what you’re saying.

Andrew: You know like, the Isaac Asimov book ‘I, Robot?’

Nelson: Yeah.

Andrew: This is like “I, Eye Guy,” because he’s a guy made of eyes. He’s an eye guy.

Nelson: That’s a stretch.

Ethan: Yes.

Andrew: Uh-huh.

Nelson: That’s… reaching.

Andrew: Before we get into this, speaking of “I, Eye Guy.” I like to take notes for our talkback; I only have one note for the talkback for this, and it just says, “This monster is sick as hell.” I want to get that out of the way up front.

Ethan: It’s so cool.

Andrew: The Eye Guy-

Ethan: Such a cool design.

Andrew: -is fantastic. Okay.

Ethan: So in the Sentai episode, he’s called Dora Argos, and he’s based on the mythic Greek monster Argus, who had a whole body covered in eyes, so that no one could sneak up on him. That’s like his whole thing, is [that] he’s like a guardian of a temple or something like that, and he’s impossible to get past because he will just see you coming from any direction. I don’t remember- It was probably a Hercules joint. Like I said, I don’t remember any details.

Nelson: This guy is nightmare fuel!

Andrew: Isn’t he great?!

Ethan: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Andrew: He’s great! He’s wonderful!

Ethan: He traps- He does like the pocket dimension.

Nelson: This is the right one, right?

Andrew: Yeah, that’s him.

Ethan: He does like the pocket dimension thing, he disassembles and reassembles just like Dora Skelton.

Andrew: No, this this this guy is the best villain we’ve had so far.

Ethan: Great monster design.

Nelson: I don’t like this guy at all.

Ethan: Great monster design.

Nelson: This is legitimately…

Andrew: Yeah, stuff of nightmares. It’s wonderful.

Ethan: It’s got like, a mouth over it.

Nelson: The mouth is an eye!

Ethan: Yeah, but it’s got teeth!

Nelson: Dude, what-

Ethan: He’s got little fangies on there.

Nelson: The more I look at this, the more- It’s like- it’s- blegh, ugh. I know how people with tryptophobia feel, like Jesus Christ. This is…

Ethan: Well, without further ado, let’s get into the recap.

Nelson: Oh my god.

Ethan: Kyo- [starts laughing]

[“Kyoryu Sentai… Zyuranger!!”]

Ethan: “Kyofu! Shunkan’ui” was written by Sugimura Noboru and directed by Tojo Shohei, and it begins with a boy stuck in a tree. His name is Mamoru, but the other children call him Minnesota Fatso, because he was born in Minnesota and he’s kind of on the hefty side. Boi saves him from falling out of the tree and hurting himself, and Mamoru’s family treats Boi to a grand meal to say thank you. Mamoru’s parents are grocers and their absolute favorite thing to do is eat together as a family. We’re not off to a great start with this one.

Nelson: So is this like, an American kid, like a foreign exchange…?

Ethan: No, he’s Japanese, his family’s Japanese.

Nelson: Why do they call him Minnesota Fatboy??

Ethan: I think his family was on vacation or something when he was born?

Nelson: That’s such a like, weird place to pick.

Ethan: American people born in Japan is way more common because US imperialism. We have like 70 military bases in Japan, but a Japanese person born in America, but not being an American, not living there…

Nelson: And then they go back to Japan.

Ethan: Exactly. It’s odd.

Nelson: Okay.

Ethan: I think he says something about it, that he was born there when his parents were on vacation or something.

Nelson: Sounds like a like a Ric Flair insult.

Andrew, channeling Nature Boy himself: All right, Minnesota Fatboy!

Nelson: Yeah, he’s like- Jesus…

Ethan: The character is not treated in a fatphobic way.

Andrew: But his name is Minnesota Fatboy.

Ethan: But the kids do call him Minnesota Fatso, and that sucks.

Andrew: Yeah.

Nelson: Wait, so is there a Japanese translation for Minnesota Fatboy?

Ethan: It’s literally just “Mi-ne-so-ta Fa-tso.”

Nelson: That’s amazing. Love that.

Ethan: Yeah, it’s pretty good. They’re like- So it starts off, there’s like a soccer ball that’s gotten stuck up in a tree. So they all made him climb up there because they thought it would be funny. And so they’re like circling the tree taunting him, while he’s trying to like, help them and save this soccer ball or whatever it is. [Transcriber’s note: It’s a toy airplane.] It’s just bad.

Nelson: Maybe that’s like, the one episode that Haim Saban saw of like, Zyuranger and was like, “Aw, yeah.”

Andrew: “We’re going to base our whole vibe on this moment.”

Ethan: Could be.

Nelson: “We’re going to make a whole comic relief character off this vibe right here.”

Andrew: I’m- I mean, I almost said I’m glad that Bulk’s name is not Minnesota Fatso, but his name is Bulk.

Ethan: Right. Bulkmeyer, but…

Nelson: They literally named the fat guy Bulk. Wow.

Ethan: Bandora sees this meal through her telescope and becomes intensely jealous, and demands that Pleprichaun produce her a pig monster to eat up all the food in the world, very similar to the Power Rangers episode.
Later, Mamoru and his folks are sitting down to lunch, but their food
keeps vanishing off their plates, and they end up squabbling about it
and flipping over their table. It’s the same story all over town as Dora Circe is eating everything he can get his trotters on, leaving everyone famished and irritable. It’s dire out there. People- I mean, people are like rioting in the streets, because he is eating so much, so fast.
Boi runs across Mamoru again in the park three days later, half-starved and despondent. Boi buys him a burger, but the second Mamoru goes to take a bite, it vanishes. Boi begins to suspect something is up. [Laughter.] It’s only occurred to him just now, “This is odd. Isn’t this odd?” In the secret hideout, he shows the others your Rangers footage from the hidden camera.
He has in Mamoru’s house.

Nelson: Wait, WHAT??

Ethan: Nobody comments on that.

Nelson: Why do they have- ? Okay, you know, so not even questioning that they have, you know, giant robots, because that’s ancient technology, but cameras?

Andrew: 170 million years old, yeah.

Nelson: Cameras.

Ethan: Yeah. He’s a quick learner, I guess. He’s been in the modern world for a few months and is already doing sex crimes.

Nelson: It’s different when Bandora peeks in on a child, because she’s an evil witch.

Ethan: Which, also, she just has a telescope.

Nelson: Yeah, she’s got a telescope.

Ethan: You didn’t have to like go to a store to learn how to use that like Boi would have had to.

Andrew: There is so much that I want to say here, that I will refrain from saying, because it is none of my business. We’re gonna move on.

Nelson: This is a family show!

Ethan: Nobody comments on the cameras, but they do spot Dora Circe in the
frame by frame playback. Goushi recognizes the beast, and consults the ancient book, which we learn is called the Dino Denki, which is like ‘A Dinosaur Legend.’ The book says that if Dora Circe is not stopped, all of Japan is doomed to starve, but that he can only be defeated by the sacred herb moly.

Andrew: Quick question.

Ethan: Yeah.

Andrew: Pleprichaun made him?

Ethan: Yeah.

Andrew: So how’s he in a book?

Ethan: Pleprichaun made more of them in the past.

Nelson and Andrew: Ahh.

Ethan: The Dino Denki book is from 170 million years ago, but in it is the story of how an ancient Grecian kingdom was ruined by these Dora Circe monsters. They ate all the food and a famine killed this kingdom. Greece did not exist a 170 million years ago, I don’t think I have to say. So it’s one of these just goofball things about the show. But, I mean, we know that Bandora was sealed on Planet Nemesis after like, a reign of terror. So we should assume, then, that someone recorded in the Dino Denki these monsters.

Andrew: Yeah, okay.

Nelson: So Pleprichaun remembers how to make these monsters.

Andrew: I just- in my head, right, like, each one of these creatures was a new thing that Pleprichaun was making up on the spot.

Ethan: Right, that makes sense.

Nelson: He’s already got a bunch of models, already.

Andrew: Not that he was like, dusting off the old classics. That puts a new spin on Pleprichaun. And honestly, it makes Pleprichaun a little less cool than Finster.

Nelson: He’s playing the hits!

Andrew: He’s playing the hits, yeah!

Ethan: I think in this episode, he makes a noise of “puri puri.”

[Pleprichaun dialog]

Ethan: And it’s just- like, we talked about this in our Element chat, that like, where his name comes from is like, this onomatopoeia for like, being huffy about something. And so he like, makes that noise. He says that out loud. So yeah, that’s who this guy is.

Nelson: I do love that like, characters have their own like little noises that they make. You know, like the last episode I was on with Dora Sphinx, and he would just be like “bimbom bimbom!”

Ethan: “Bimbom!”

[Dora Sphinx dialog]

Nelson: It’s good stuff.

Ethan: Love Japanese onomatopoeias. The Rangers attempt to fight Dora Circe, but he overpowers them and eats their weapons, which they worked so hard to obtain. Things are looking grim until a strange old man starts firing golf balls at Dora Circe like they’re 80 millimeter cannon rounds. and this scares the pig off. However, the old man then waves his magical golf club at the Zyurangers and they’re transported to his magical mushroom forest.
The old man reveals himself as Gnome, a longtime ally of Barza, who hasn’t actually been in the show in several episodes, and says he will give the heroes the sacred herb if they can eat all the food on his magical table. Nelson, how do you feel about seeing some golf balls go up a pig’s nose?

Nelson: I’m… I’m just honestly shocked. Okay. Gnome, not the Gnarly Gnome.

Ethan and Andrew: No.

Nelson: And not Dora Gnome guy.

Ethan: He’s got like tiny pence-nez glasses, super long mustache and eyebrows. Very odd-looking dude.

Nelson: And he’s friends with Barza.

Ethan: He’s friends with Barza. So do you remember, from “Food Fight,” the rooftop fight, where the pig eats the weapons?

Nelson and Andrew: Yes.

Ethan: It’s that scene.

Nelson: Yeah, and he shoots ’em-

Ethan: Power Rangers cuts it off before the golf balls start flying in, but they literally show up out of nowhere. They just start like, zooming in with like a magical aura halo around them. He’s like launching them and two of them go up the pig’s nostrils and he’s like, “Urgh, I can’t deal with this!” and he leaves.

Andrew: No, this bit was nuts.

Nelson: We haven’t seen him this whole time.

Ethan: Right.

Nelson: But he’s just been friends with Barza, who just came back like a few days ago, technically, in the story.

Ethan: Yeah, very recently.

Nelson: So has Gnome also just been a groundskeeper somewhere?

Ethan: He’s a magical fairy. I don’t know what to tell ya.

Nelson: Sure.

Andrew: So imagine for a minute, right, that the Power Rangers are fighting the pig monster, right, and all of a sudden Zordon’s old golf buddy just shows up and starts playing golf.

Nelson: That’s what I was thinking! He just starts just letting them lose at him.

Ethan: It’s brutal. It’s like a like a pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, like raining golf balls. Anyway, the Zyurangers give it their best effort to clear all the food off this table, but finally, it is only Boi still eating, and the last thing on the table is a carrot, a food which he hates beyond all others. He suffers through it, winning the moly herb and Gnome’s blessing.
Meanwhile, the townsfolk are on the warpath, hunting for the creature eating all their food. And the Zyurangers lure Dora Circe out with the promise of something delicious. They trick him into eating the sacred herb, which is not a spicy radish, at which point he expels not only their weapons, but so much food that he physically deflates. The Rangers use their Howling Cannon to defeat Dora Circe, and Bandora is too hungry to make him a giant, so he actually stays dead. Mamoru’s family treats the Zyurangers to a home-cooked meal, but the first thing Mamoru’s mom brings out is, of course, an enormous carrot, and Boi faints dead away. The end.

Andrew: Yeah, so, I loved this.

Ethan: It’s a great one.

Andrew: It makes very little sense. I’m assuming the guy who played Barza was just unavailable for a couple of episodes, and they’ve got a Barza stand-in in this one, which is kind of an interesting thing. But like-

Ethan: This character sticks around. We will see more of this character.

Andrew: Aside from that weird little side bit, yeah, this one worked really well. Great little self-contained episode, lots of fun. The pig monster is still horrible.

Nelson: Yeah. And like, you mentioned him like, deflating before they shoot him.

Ethan: Yeah, it’s like the actor has handles on the inside of the costume,
and pulls it in, so it looks, rather than nice/pleasant/chunky/round, it’s very thin. He just talks about, “Oh, I’m so hungry.”

Nelson: Oh, the reason he doesn’t become a giant is just because…

Ethan: Literally, Bandora like, goes to throw her staff and drops it, and is like, “I’m too hungry….”

Andrew: And see, I love that.

Ethan: Such a goofy episode.

Nelson: “Ugh, not today.”

Andrew: Because, we talked in the last episode a little bit about how, or maybe it was two ago, about how petty Rita is and about how small-minded she gets about the things that she is seeking. And Bandora, for the most part, avoids that. Bandora, for the most part, goes big. We’re going to transform all the children of Japan into trees. We’re going to eat the children’s souls. But in this one, she’s just like, “Nah, it’s too much work.””

Nelson: But I mean, this started- it started petty.

Ethan: The plan is to eat all the food in Japan and then presumably move on from there. But I guess the pig ate all of their food before he left so they just… Bandora, Totpat, Bookback, everyone’s just sort of like slumped on the floor of the palace, because they are too hungry to move.

Andrew: No, I love that.

Ethan: Boi hating carrots is so funny. He hates them. I mean, I also would not want to eat like an enormous raw carrot, just on a plate.

Nelson: Yeah, that sounds gross.

Ethan: That’s not like a pleasant eating experience, but he like, despises these foods, which is very funny. I don’t know, it’s just silly.

Nelson: Like cats with cucumbers.

Ethan: Right. Oh, the thing I want to mention is the Greco-Roman mythological influence here. Circe, in the Odyssey, is a witch who lives alone on an island in the ocean, and turns men into pigs. So we have like a mishmash of the name and the thing there. And then moly is an herb that comes up several times in the Greek and Roman myth. It’s just this like, very sacred holy plant that can cure wounds and stuff like that. It’s just interesting to see, you know, in the last episode, I think, was it six or seven that has Dora Goblin? I have it here.

Nelson: Somebody’s got notes.

Ethan: Episode seven.

Nelson: We have technology.

Ethan: So the Goblin is like, a British Celtic-inspired fairy, you know, loosely. But this is like solidly in the Greco-Roman mythological- which a lot of Bandora’s monsters are, and even her name comes from. And I just think those influences are really interesting. The way that they are pulling from them, remixing them, and then the way that the Japanese production team doing that, and then the American production team doing the same thing.

Andrew: And with Japan, it’s kind of a recontextualization. They’re taking, with Sentai, they’re taking these American myths and they’re recontextualizing them through this lens of Japanese folklore, and also kind of pop culture. When it comes into the U.S., it’s not so much that they’re getting recontextualized as that they’re getting decontextualized. These things that were built up around this this kind of Western mythology have all of their mythological elements stripped away and they’re left to be, “Hey, look at that weird guy.”

Ethan: Yeah. Chunky Chicken.

Andrew: Yeah. And don’t get me wrong, I love the Chunky Chicken.

Nelson: Who doesn’t?

Andrew: But it’s a very different thing.

Ethan: Yeah, and I think it’s interesting that, you know, if you sort of trace this, at least the thing that people claim is the mythological underpinnings of Western civilization, it’s like the U.S. back to Britain, and Britain back to Rome, and then Rome back to Greece. And these are like foundational myths, or at least they’re claimed to be for, quote, unquote, “the West,” which is fake and made up. But when Japan pulls from those, that’s not like their… That’s not like the myth of Amaterasu, for example. That’s not like their foundational cultural cornerstones. So they sort of play with it more than they might something else. And then like you said, Andrew, when they imported it back to the U.S., coming from the other way around the globe, it’s totally stripped of all those mythological underpinnings.

Andrew: And I know I’ve talked about the Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog a lot on this show, and that’s not what the show is about, but I am personally watching the Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog right now, and the Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog figured that out.

Ethan: Yeah.

Andrew: It’s like, “Hey, we can play with Celtic myths and some of this like, traditional mythology and we can start pulling those elements in and make a good underpinning for the show, that is consistent and isn’t just, “Hey, look at this weird chicken.” But it took them a couple of years to get there.

Ethan: Yeah. But that’s the episode. It’s a good one. I think that covers the Sentai episode.

Andrew: Okay.

Ethan: Moving along, Andrew’s gonna give us to our Rangers Recap.

Nelson: Raaaangeeeeeers….

[“Go, go, Power Rangers!”]

Andrew: Power Rangers episode 8, “I,” comma, “Eye Guy.”

Ethan: That’s letter I, comma, space, E-Y-E, guy.

Andrew: Not aye-aye, but I, Eye.

Nelson: Like I, eye.

Andrew: Yeah.

Nelson: Guy.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ethan: Exactly.

Andrew: Because he’s a guy made of eyes.

Nelson: Aye.

Andrew: Okay, so this episode was directed by a man named David Blythe and written by a man named Stuart St. John.

Nelson: Any relation to Austin St. John?

Andrew: No! I thought that I was about to have a really interesting research topic when I saw that this was Stuart St. John. No, no relation to Austin St. John, just a similar name.

Ethan: That’s Jason’s actor in case anybody doesn’t know.

Andrew: Yeah. One thing that I do when I’m writing this recap is I pull out some notes for myself for stuff to make sure to talk about, and I only have one note for this episode, and that’s that this monster is sick as hell. The eye guy is sick as hell. So, Billy has a friend named Willy.

Ethan: -noise of extreme disappointment-

Nelson: Jeez.

Andrew: And Billy and Willy are inventors.

Ethan: -continued noises of disappointment-

Andrew: And Willy has created a virtual reality machine the likes of which would permanently alter like, the course of human development. And he plans on entering it into the local science fair.

Ethan: He’s 12.

Andrew: Uh-huh. Willy and the Power Rangers, not as Rangers, are going to the science fair and some Putties show up. The Power Rangers fight the Putties. They move on. They go to the science fair at the youth center.

Ethan: The slo-mo in this attempted kidnapping sequence is dumb as hell. It sucks. I mean, the first several minutes of this episode are kind of a drag. I will say Billy and Willy’s secret handshake is adorable. It’s very good. But this so far is not a winner.

Andrew: So Rita wants Willy’s machine.

Ethan: And his intelligence.

Andrew: Yeah, so she summons the Eye Guy. And Eye Guy’s sole mission is to capture the smartest children and to steal their intelligence and also this machine.

Ethan: I have written down in my notes: “nonstop eye puns.”

Andrew: Yeah.

[Eye Guy: “You’re a sight for sore eyes, your loveliness. It’s good to see you again. I assume that I can be of service to you.” Rita: “Yeah.” Eye Guy: “Aye aye, my queen!”]

Andrew: So we’re at the youth center. We’re at the science fair. Bulk and Skull are here.

Nelson: Here we go.

Ethan: This one goes to some places.

Nelson: Oh boy, here we go.

Andrew: The only important bit for the plot is that they pull some antics
and Willy gets disqualified.

Ethan: Yes, very unfairly. Like immediately the judge for the science fair sees the shenanigans and for some reason pins it on Willy, despite the fact that he just showed up and has not done anything wrong.

Andrew: So I’m going to leave it at that. We’ll come back to Bulk and Skull later, because we’ve got a lot to say about Bulk and Skull in this episode, but for now I’m leaving it at that. Willy sulks because he’s been disqualified.

Ethan: Yes.

Andrew: So he goes off into the park, and everybody else follows shortly behind him. But the Eye Guy’s giant eyeball, his main eye, just shows up, captures Willy. For some reason the eye can transport all of his clothes except for his hat.

Ethan: Yeah, he lost his hat, so the Rangers find out something has happened to him.

Andrew: But Willy is transported into like a secret dimension inside the Eye Guy’s eye, which I guess is kind of supposed to parallel Willy’s like, virtual reality world, I guess.

Ethan: I have a note: “space camp gyroscope puker machine.” He’s in one of those things. If you watched like, a space camp commercial in the ’90s, you saw one of these.

Andrew: The gyroscope puker machine. Yeah, of course.

Nelson: Is that the thing that they strap you into and you start going in circles?

Ethan: And it’s like a tri-axial…

Andrew: It spins you this way and this way and this way, all at the same time.

Nelson: It’s like the f***in’… Da Vinci modern man thing, except it’s a ride.

Ethan: Yeah, yeah. So the eye slurps Willy up and puts him in one of those. And this is the intelligence extraction device. It’s not a plan.

Nelson: I mean, do you not slurp up all your intelligence? That’s how I take in my intelligence.

Andrew: Some of the Power Rangers look for Willy. They find his hat. They suspect that Rita has kidnapped Willy, for some reason.

Ethan: They go straight to it too. “This must be Rita.”

Andrew: Yeah. Not the kid was sad and he ran away. And granted in this case it was Rita, but like it’s just a really weird job to make. But they go to Zordon. They go to the Command Center and Zordon’s like, “Hey, there’s an Eye Guy.” So the Rangers go and confront the Eye Guy, except he’s missing his main eye, which is where Willy is. But they confront Eye Guy and Baboo. They shoot at Eye Guy and he blows up, but then all his eyes just reassemble. He blasts the Rangers, they fall down.
Zordon pages Billy on his communicator, and only Billy for some reason. And he’s like, “Yo, the main eye, it’s in the woods. You gotta go.” So Billy goes out into the woods with his giant lance. Now we haven’t seen much of the giant lance on the show so far, but the giant lance is the best weapon in the Power Rangers game for the Sega Genesis, so I’m always really happy to see it appear on the show. And so Billy uses the lance to attack the Eye Guy, which weakens the rest of the monster. At this point, of course, Rita Repulsa makes the monster grow.

Nelson: Finally!

Andrew: And the Power Rangers summon their Megazord and they do battle. Frequently, they manage to defeat the thing and it shatters into a bunch of individual eyes and reforms. It’s creepy as all get out. It’s got like fang- wonderful monster.

Ethan: Yep.

Andrew: They finally use the Power Sword. What’s the Japanese name?

Ethan and Nelson: The Godhorn.

Andrew: They finally use the Godhorn, much better name. They finally use the Godhorn to destroy the Eye Guy and Willy is freed.

Nelson, smugly: They freed Willy.

Andrew: They freed Willy. And at this point, we gotta talk about Bulk and Skull some more. So they go back to the youth center. Billy gives Willy his hat back and Ernie, the guy who runs the youth center, and Willy’s professor are playing the VR thing that Willy made. They realize that Willy is in fact a genius and apologize to him. And then Bulk and Skull show up wearing only towels.

Ethan: Yeah, so we have to go back to the first science fair segment. There is pants vanishing spray. There’s shenanigans. Trash can turtle happens again. And then Bulk and Skull end up in like, a fashionizer machine.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ethan: It’s weird. I mean, it’s a cool invention. But, of course, it’s only used to humiliate these two characters, and they end up in drag, essentially. They end up in drag, and then they run off screen.
Because they’ve been humiliated because… homophobia is…

Andrew: There’s nothing more humiliating in the ’90s than… yes.

Ethan: It sucks. It’s real bad. Not to say that drag is bad. Drag is fun and like, brings a lot of joy to a lot of people. But it’s used for nefarious purposes, I would say, in this moment.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ethan: So anyway, coming back to the second science fair sequence.

Andrew: They would rather show up just wearing towels than wearing the outfits that they left in. They walk in, they’re wearing towels, and they ask for their clothes back. And instead of being given their clothes back in any reasonable sense, they’re given their shrunken clothes.

Ethan: Tiny baby clothes.

Nelson: Do they try to put them on?

Ethan and Andrew: No, no.

Andrew: They just-

Ethan: That’s just- sort of- the episode sort of freeze frames on them, in towels, having come from like, showering. Because when they came out of the fashionizer machine, they’re like, not just in girls’ clothes, but like, full faces of makeup, wigs, everything. So they went to wash that off and then came back all the way from the showers into the main room of the juice bar.

Nelson: This is all one giant place. This is the gym, juice bar, cafeteria, science fair.

Ethan: It’s just very weird and awkward.

Andrew: Yeah, no, I did not like it. Aside from that bit, I actually really enjoyed this episode. I think that the Eye Guy is a great villain. I think that all of the mask footage in this was very well done. The bits with Willy are… I mean, they’re fine.

Ethan: Yeah. Like I said, the secret handshake is super cute. They say stuff like “quasi-tronic circuitry.” It’s, you know, it’s cute. You know, there’s good bits here and there’s bad bits here. I think the Dora Argos, in the episode that he shows up in, is even more well utilized.

Andrew: Sure.

Ethan: So I’m looking forward to hearing your reaction to that episode, when we get there.

Andrew: But yeah, I mean, just on the whole, I liked this episode. There are things to like in this episode. It’s got its problems, but like, especially compared to some of the ones that have led up to this that were just such a slog, like this one? It was fun.

Ethan: Yeah.

Nelson: I don’t- I don’t think- I don’t think I like the eye monster.

Andrew: No, he’s horrible.

Nelson: It’s up there with the pig.

Ethan: So when- so do you remember with Dora Skelton, the way he would reassemble was that they had all the bones like hanging from wires and then they dropped them from the wires, and then they reversed that footage?

Nelson: Yeah, I looked at a gif of it, yeah.

Ethan: They use that same effect here, except it’s just a- it’s just a cluster of eyeballs like, swarming up from the ground.

Andrew:It’s wonderful.

Ethan: I have written that the energy effects… “really good energy attack effects.”

Andrew: Yeah. The Eye Guy was one of the only monster toys I had as a kid because it was just so gross, and I loved it.

Ethan: When he launches little energy eyeballs, they have like mouths with teeth in them.

Nelson: How do you make a toy of that without it being the ultimate choking hazard?

Andrew: So the eyes were all molded on.

Ethan: It’s just a solid figure.

Nelson: Okay, cause I was gonna say like, he has so many break-off-able pieces…

Ethan: He had one or two that would shoot off, but they were tied with string. So you would just like poke the string back into the body. Anyway, I think that’s our talk back. So Andrew has our research topic for this episode, so what do we got?

Andrew: So, in my last research segment, I talked about the actor that appeared in the most episodes of Power Rangers. It was Paul Schrier, who plays Bulk and also the HyperForce Yellow Ranger, Jack Thomas, apparently.

Nelson: What’s Bulk’s full name?

Ethan: Farkas Bulkmeyer.

Andrew: Yeah, Farkas Bulkmeyer.

Ethan: Farkas is apparently Hungarian for “wolf” and Bulkmeyer is a fake, made-up German-sounding name.

Nelson: So his name is essentially Big Wolf.

Andrew: More or less.

Nelson: Nice.

Andrew: I didn’t actually talk much about Paul Schrier, though. So, today I’m going to do that. Schreyer was born on June 1st, 1970. He is, as of this recording, 53 years old. He’s an actor, obviously, but he’s also done some voice work. He did a ton of- well, a ton, I mean, it’s relative, but he did- he worked on anime dubs that Saban imported.

Ethan: Do you have any shows or characters listed that he…?

Andrew: Yeah, give me a second.

Ethan: Okay.

Andrew: He did some anime work with Saban, and then he went on to do some anime work without Saban. He was also a voice actor on a Cartoon Network show called the Mighty Magiswords. He played a character named Flonk.

Ethan: I love that.

Nelson: Did they get Jason Narvy in there to play another character called Kerplunk?

Ethan: I hope so.

Andrew: I don’t believe Jason Narvy was in that episode. The two of them are friends, outside of Power Rangers. They hang out, they work together. For anime, he [Schrier] was in a show called Technoman, where he played Technoman.

Nelson: He played Technoman in Technoman?

Ethan: That’s cool he got the lead role, though.

Andrew: He was in a show called Eagle Riders, and he was in a show called
Daigunder.

Ethan: That sounds more up our alley.

Andrew: Eagle Riders was based on Gachaman 2 and Gachaman Fighter, and Daigunder was based on Bakuto Sengen Daiganda.

Ethan: Yeah, Daigunder.

Nelson: Good on ya.

Ethan: I had no idea he did anime dubs, but since Power Rangers is very close to its own anime dub, that makes a ton of sense.

Andrew: So after doing some dubbing for anime, he started directing. He goes on to direct several episodes of Power Rangers, later in the show.

Ethan: I read about this when I was looking into him for something else. Specifically, during the filming of Power Rangers The Movie, he and Narvy both, because they didn’t have huge roles in the movie, they [the studio execs] were like, “Well, we’re shooting more episodes of the TV show, why don’t you both go be assistant directors, while you’re not filming here?” And that just is such an efficient use of time.

Andrew: And it worked. So he went on to be a director on several episodes. And then he got into directing animation, and he directed 16 episodes of the Hello Kitty animated series.

Ethan: Well, that’s precious.

Andrew: But the thing that really caught me off guard, and the reason that I didn’t just include this info in the last research segment, is that he’s also an artist and specifically a 3D modeler, and I want to make sure I get this bit right. He worked with a team of artists who pioneered an entirely new style of comic book art, which makes heavy use of 3D models. He was one of the 3D modelers on that team. And then they demonstrated that new style of comic book art in a comic called The Red Star. I’d never heard of The Red Star before, but it’s a comic about a kind of idealized mythol- a kind of idealized mytholol-

Nelson: Mythological?

Andrew: Mythololigized?

Ethan: Mytholigized.

Andrew: A kind of idealized mythologized Soviet Russia. It’s this communist magic technology utopia. So, since the late ’90s, he’s been working as a 3D modeler on this techno fantasy Soviet Union comic book. And I just think that that is exceptionally cool.

Ethan: Yeah, I really want to look into that.

Andrew: I don’t know if the comic is still ongoing. It’s listed in several places as being ongoing, but like the last updates that I’m seeing from the comic are from like 2017 or 2018, so like, I don’t know when the last issue came out. I haven’t kept up with comics. I’m just- I’m not sure. But I’m going to seek the thing out, because I’m immensely curious.

Ethan: Yeah, no, that sounds killer.

Andrew: This dude took a bit part in a kid’s TV show where he was mocked and ridiculed, and he managed to turn that into a decades-long career as an actor, a voice actor, a director, and a Power Ranger. As I mentioned in the last episode, he does finally appear as the Yellow Ranger in Power Rangers HyperForce. And then because that wasn’t enough, he also became a 3D modeler who helped change the face of comic books with a 3D illustrated comic about a future sci-fi Soviet Russia. I mean…

Ethan: Yeah, solid dude.

Andrew: Yeah. So, that’s Paul Schrier. It feels weird for me to be talking about him two research segments in a row, but I found way more to say.

Ethan: Yeah, sometimes there is just that much.

Andrew: Yep. I’m going to go in a real different direction for next month’s research segment. I think it’s time for us to start talking about video games, but that’s what I had for today.

Ethan: That’s excellent. I love artist spotlight type things and it’s very cool how episode six’s research topic led you naturally into this one, and his career inside and outside of Power Rangers is just really cool.

Andrew: Yep. And like, his career was clearly very heavily shaped by Power Rangers, but it was not-

Ethan: Solely defined.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s not like he got stuck there. The work that he’s done as a 3D modeler is probably just as important, if not more so.

Ethan: Yeah, no, that sounds awesome.

Andrew: But then he’s also the guy who appears in the most episodes of Power Rangers, like, he is the guy who’s gotten the most mileage out of being involved in the series. And I just- I really- I think that’s really cool.

Ethan: That is really cool.

Andrew: And it makes it hurt all the more when they treat him like such s*** in these episodes.

Ethan: Yeah. And then we see in future seasons, I mean, he’s still kind of comic relief, but it’s not this style of like, overtly cruel writing that like places him in harm’s way, and constantly puts the heavyset guy in like, gross physical contact with food as a like, punch line. So like, I hope that he was able to like, advocate for himself, once the show was more established and be like, “Can we take this in a little bit of a different…?” and obviously, by the fact that he became an assistant director and a director, like, clearly he was able to garner some pull in the studio and that can only be a good thing.

Andrew: We’re not going to see much of that though in season one. In season one, everything is very seat of our pants. We don’t know if this is going to keep going. We don’t know if it’s going to work. The show, from everything that I’ve read and from everything that I remember, just gets better after season one.

Ethan: Yeah!

Nelson: Yeah, you got to start somewhere.

Ethan: It’s pioneering in a big way. And so like once they sort of had a process down, they were able to improve on it.

Andrew: So that’s Paul Schrier.

Ethan: Excellent. Thank you so much.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ethan: That was a very cool one.

Nelson: Nice.

Ethan: Do we have anything else about these episodes? I know Nelson doesn’t ’cause he didn’t actually watch them. We kinda sprung this on him.

Nelson: Yeah, I mean, these sound amazing.

Ethan: Yeah, they’re pretty good.

Andrew: Okay, so what I want you to do, right, is watch them. And then just just give us like a 30 second, like, ‘this is what I thought about these episodes.’

Nelson: Yeah, I’ll go back in post, and here’s my opinion on this:

Future Nelson: Well, now that I’ve seen these episodes, I gotta say, you guys definitely did a great job explaining what actually happened and painting a good picture, before I actually got to see it. And I think that we didn’t talk about that I thought was very funny was when Boi consoles Mamoru, and his pants fall down because he hasn’t been able to eat.

Andrew: Yep.

Nelson: So that’s what I think.

Andrew: Excellent. Thank you so much, Nelson.

Ethan: We’re always happy to have you here.

Nelson: Yeah, it’s good. It’s a good show. Well, these are two good shows and an even better podcast.

Ethan: Thank you. I guess that’s everything for this one. So-

Nelson: Hit ’em with the outro.

Ethan: We’ll be back next time to discuss episodes nine of Zyuranger, “Hashire!! Tamago Ouji,” which is “Run!! Prince of the Eggs.” Literally, “Run!! Egg Prince,” but that flows a little bit worse than than “Run!! Prince of the Eggs,” and Power Rangers, “For Whom the Bell Trolls.” Two guesses as to what’s the monster in that one. If you’ve enjoyed this show-

Nelson: Is it a troll?

Ethan: Actually, not. It’s actually…

Andrew: A bell.

Ethan: No, it’s Trini’s doll, that Rita brings to life. And his name is Mr. Ticklesneezer. [Long, horrified pause.] It’s bad. It’s bad! Anyway-

Nelson: Well, you guys aren’t gonna want to miss that.

Ethan: “For Whom the Bell Trolls.”

Andrew, barely holding it together: When we talk about Mr. Ticklesneezer!

Ethan: The Sentai equivalent is Fairy Dondon, which is like, not nearly as gross-sounding. Mr. Ticklesneezer, you got to wonder where they came up with it.

Nelson: That’s like some… I don’t know, man. It sounds like some old…

Ethan: It feels bad. Kimochi warui, as the Japanese would say.

Nelson It’s like some Hollywood pervert bulls***.

Ethan: Yes, uh-huh.

Nelson: Like some Dan Snyder alleged, you know, Mr. Ticklesneezer.

Ethan: Uh-huh.

[Everybody is grossed out for a second.]

Ethan: If you’ve enjoyed this show, please feel free to send me $5, and if you want to find me online, don’t. But you can follow the show on the Fediverse @KenkyuuSentaiPodcastRangers@Meet.CommunityMedia.Network. Andrew, how can people get in touch and what should they look out for?

Andrew: You can find me online at AndrewRoach.net or AJRoach42.com. And from there, you can find links to all the other things that I do.

Ethan: That pretty much covers it.

Nelson: Yeah. Wait, hold on, also, watch Working Class Music and my YouTube channel, IndieCon Recs. That’s where you can find me.

Ethan: Can you can you spell that out for us?

Nelson: IndieCon Recs?

Ethan: Yeah.

Nelson: No.

Ethan, laughing: Okay.

Andrew: Link in the description, thanks everybody!

Nelson: Yeah, I’ll put a picture of it here, because the spelling is weird, yes.

Ethan: Okay, 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 to 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 EllijayMakerspace.org, and you can learn more about the Cherokee people by visiting Cherokee.org. Strength, love, and solidarity to all oppressed people, and in the words of a wise man, “F*** capitalism; go home.”

Andrew: And I will.

[Outro music.]

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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
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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 @KenkyuuSentaiPodcastRangers@meet.communitymedia.network. 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 AJRoach42.com or you can find all the various too many things that do at AndrewRoach.net. 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 EllijayMakerspace.org, and you can learn more about the Cherokee people by visiting Cherokee.org. Strength, love, and solidarity to all oppressed people, and in the words of a wise man, “F*** capitalism; go home.”

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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 Six Now We All Want Jamaican Food.

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 S01E06: Now We All Want Jamaican Food.
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Ethan: We rolling?

Nelson: Alright, all… the… lights… are on,

Ethan: Rollin rollin rollin. Okay, remember, it’s three two one clap.

Nelson: So we gonna clap this out?

Ethan: Yep. All right, three, two, one. [Clap.] Excellent.

[“It’s Morphin’ Time!” + intro music]

Ethan: 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.

Andrew: You know, it really is my favorite.

Ethan: Yeah, I mean if you listen to it, it’s kind of default your favorite, because it’s the only one. Before we started this show… Well, I mean, before I even like proposed it, I just got curious and there are a couple of Power Rangers podcasts out there. Most of them have not updated in a long time, and none of them are doing the type of like, comparison work that we’re doing. So it’s your favorite by default. My name is Ethan, I use he/him pronouns, and with me is my usual co-host, Andrew.

Andrew: Hi, I’m Andrew, I also use he/him pronouns.

Ethan: And joining us once again is our good friend and producer of the show, Nelson.

Nelson: Heyooo, I’m back. I’m actually in the room with them. I know you won’t believe me, but I’m here.

Ethan: We can, we can, like physically reach out-

Nelson: Yeah, can you-? There you go.

Ethan: He’s there.

Nelson: Yeah, so we’re all here, gang’s all here, you know, all of that. I’m here to talk about the Power Rangers episode that I have watched too many times.

Ethan: If you recall from episode two of our show, we had a mix-up with the Archive.org episodes being out of order. They’ve since been taken down, Yahoo anime rules, don’t talk about s***.

Nelson: Wait, they took down all of Mighty Morphin’?

Ethan: It’s not there anymore.

Nelson: Oh, I was watching Zyuranger and it was…

Ethan: Zyuranger’s still there, but somebody put out a copyright claim.

Nelson: Where the hell… Where am I gonna watch Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers?

Ethan: Don’t worry about it. Anyway, the episodes being out of order means Nelson has been waiting for a quite some time to finally talk about today’s episode of Power Rangers. If you’d like to see the correct order of episodes, check the Ranger wiki. Today, we are discussing Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger episode 6 “Tate, Daizyujin!”, which is “Arise, Daizyujin!” and Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, season 1 episode 6, “Food Fight.” Without further ado, let’s get into the recap.

Nelson: Unless we have further ado.

Ethan: I do want to say a hearty f*** you to the Jasper Police Department.

Nelson: Yeah, I got pulled over on the way here. You know.

Ethan: He’s fine, we’re fine.

Nelson: I’m fine. Yeah.

Ethan: But also f*** cops.

Andrew and Nelson: All of ’em,

Andrew: Even the ones in my family.

Nelson: Yeah, even the ones you like. F*** em. Yeahhh.

Ethan: Yeah. So-

[“Kyoryu Sentai… Zyuranger!!”]

Ethan: “Arise, Daizyujin!” was written by Sugimura Noboru and directed by Sakamoto Taro. We pick up right where we left off with Geki, alone in a strange desert otherworld. Climbing over a ridge, he sees in the distance the destroyed remains of Tokyo, and at the bottom of the hill, he finds the skeletal corpses of his comrades. The Guardian Beasts appear in the sky and tell Geki that he must unite the hearts of his team, as well as the bodies of the Guardian Beasts in order to form Daizyujin. Geki sees an immense shape under the sand of this dead world as the Guardian Beasts tell him
this will be the future if he does not succeed at unifying the Rangers.

Nelson: Hold on. Hold on. There’s a big detail you’re leaving out there in that everybody was dead, everybody was like… I was like this is a kid’s show.

Ethan: It’s bleak, it’s bleak. It’s like, it’s horrifying. He finds the skeletons of the other Rangers, and he sees like a badly broken Tokyo Tower in the distance, and a totally destroyed cityscape. And like, this is what Bandora’s ultimate goal is: like, the destruction of all life on Earth.

Nelson: They were skeletons! It’s crazy.

Ethan: Yeah, it’s bleak.

Andrew: So she doesn’t just want to torture children.

Ethan: Right. Well, I mean she- that’s definitely like her mode of-

Nelson: That’s part of it.

Ethan: Her modus operandi of achieving this goal is to torture the children until all of humanity is dead, which is… pretty bleak. Geki promises he will do everything in his power and the Guardian Beasts zap him back to 1992 Earth in the forest where his friends and the children have been trapped by Dora Sphinx. He despairs for just a moment, saying he doesn’t know how to unite the team or form Daizyujin, but Barza overhears and says that Geki must seek out the Dino Crystals. Before they can discuss it, Dora Sphinx and Grifforzer reappear to make Geki’s day that much worse. They fight through the woods and into a quarry, where Bandora throws her sceptre, making Dora Sphinx and Grifforzer into giants. Geki runs around trying not to get squished like a bug, when suddenly his sword gives off a radiating glow and an energy bolt streaks out to a random spot in the hillside. You may remember this footage from a previous Power Rangers episode. It makes like, a little bit more sense, but it’s also still pretty random and far out.

Nelson: They just kind of throw Goldar in there… What was it, Grifforzer?

Ethan: Grifforzer.

Nelson: Yeah, I’m sticking with Goldar.

Ethan: That’s fine.

Andrew: I appreciate you bringing that up, because the Power Rangers footage was complete nonsense, where all of a sudden, [Jason] just knew that this crystal existed, and also how to find it, and what to do with it when he got it. At least Geki here gets some context.

Ethan: Yes, he gets, I would say, a minimal amount of context, but that beats the zero context episode of Rangers.

Andrew: This satisfied everything I wanted to know about the Crystal.

Ethan: Yes. Conveniently, this is the sack holding the Dino Crystals, which has apparently been waiting in this hillside for 170 million years, untouched by both archaeology and industry. Geki unwraps the Crystals and pitches the four that aren’t his to his friends, who are broken free from their imprisonment by the power of the Crystals. They summon the Guardian Beasts and, with the Dino Crystals, are able to combine into the Dino Tanker, and from there into Daizyujin, which gives Dora Sphinx and Grifforzer a fight to remember. Unfortunately, the loggers have arrived to clearcut the forest and make room for the golf course, which distracts our heroes from their fight.

Nelson: They start killing children.

Ethan: Yeah, they’re literally like- It’s not shown like how many trees they actually managed to cut down, but each of those trees-

Nelson: They killed some kids.

Ethan: -has a kid stuck in it and it’s I mean it- like with Hiroshi in the Land of Despair, like we just watch a couple of kids die.

Nelson: Well, yeah, that’s what Violet was talking about. That’s what Violet was talking about before, she wanted this show to not be afraid to show that they will kill children, and…

Andrew: Here they go.

Nelson: Yeah, like they kind of walked it back in the Land of Despair,
but…

Andrew: But not here.

Nelson: No, not here.

Ethan: But again, it’s not- The show doesn’t like linger on that at all. There’s no blood. You know at the end, there’s not like a, “It’s a shame we couldn’t save those those few we lost…” or- It’s just not commented on.

Nelson: But you hear kids screaming while they’re cutting trees down. You know.

Ethan: Dora Sphinx takes this opportunity to shrink back into his human form and challenge the Rangers to more riddles, Threatening to turn Daizyujin itself into a tree if they fail. They solve some, but Geki tricks the monster into revealing his weakness, and when Dora Sphinx resumes his giant form and attempts to blow them away, they summon Daizyujin’s weapon, Kyoryuken Godhorn, which is just the coolest s*** in the universe-

Nelson: Right? The Godhorn?

Ethan: -and strike the monster down in one blow, which frees all the children trapped in the trees. The episode ends with the Rangers reaffirming their promise to each other and to Daizyujin. Loose impressions?

Nelson: Loved it.

Ethan: This is the first time we see Daizyujin, or the Megazord, in
Sentai, and it literally the first shot of it is: it buried in the sand, which is such a cool shot.

Nelson: Yeah, it was so sick. Loved that.

Andrew: This was so much better than the accompanying Power Rangers episode. [Transcriber’s note: MMPR s1e4, “A Pressing Engagement,” which we covered in KSPR 04.]

Ethan: And I think it also blows “Day of the Dumpster” out of the water in terms of buildup to this like, incredible moment. I mean I- we want to get Will [Dover of Dover Demon Designs] to do some artwork for us of the red lightning on the black background, when [Daizyujin]’s raising the sword over his head. Oh, it’s so cool. I mean I literally get chills every time I watch it.

Nelson: I don’t know how exactly they did it with the whole like, covered-up Megazord, if they used like miniatures, because like looking at it, it looked like there might have just been like a little Geki action figure in there, like in a sandbox.

Ethan: I think that was a really well done compositing shot.

Nelson: Really?

Ethan: I think that they took the actual Megazord suit, or if not the actual suit, at least like a model of the torso, and put that in a sandbox, and then composited that in with the shot of Geki and it’s just- it’s extra premium.

Nelson: That’s crazy for ’92.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ethan: Right. Well, I mean you look at the shot of the Guardian Beasts talking to Geki from in the clouds, it just looks like they’re standing up there.

Nelson: Yeah, but I mean they also, you know, that was that was more of an easy coverup, because they had the distance, and the mountain, and all the fog and everything. But yeah, no, that was definitely a cool shot with the whole Megazord like, under all the dust.

Ethan: And Godhorn is just such an unbelievably cooler name than “Power Sword!” I mean, the Power Sword’s also cool, but like Godhorn just- is unbelievable.

Nelson: There’s one part that I will never forget in this episode, when Dora Sphinx like goes back into his human form, and he’s like, “Goldar. Chill out.” and dude just like, just gets down. Puts his sword down and just chills out for a second.

Ethan: That’s Sexy Goldar!

Andrew: That’s the header image-

Ethan: Yeah, that’s our header image for our our CommunityMedia.Network account.

Nelson: I love that, he’s just chillin’.

Ethan: Just sexy Grifforzer, just- he’s just laid out, and just watchin’.

Andrew: So Dora Sphinx was a much more daunting villain than what we got in Power Rangers-

Ethan: King Sphinx, yeah.

Andrew: -and the combination of Dora Sphinx and Grifforzer here, it made sense. There were stakes, as opposed to, in Power Rangers, where they’ve they’ve set it up, they’ve already got the Megazord, every episode is just like, “Yeah, fight fight fight, Megazord, over! Hey!” Like this had weight to it. It’s weird that it was this far in but but yeah, I like this a lot.

Ethan: Yeah, and I think King Sphinx in Power Rangers uses his wings to blow Kimberley and Zack away, and that’s the only time you see him do that. When in Sentai, that’s his whole thing, is that if you if you fail his riddles, which are like pretty high level puns, if you like- the last couple that the Rangers solve as they’re in Daizyujin is- they’re quite tricky. But of course he cheats and is like, “What’s the what is the great force that will always win out?” And he says the answer is evil and they disagree and…

Nelson: Also, I mean there was another part that like, I had to pause it because I was laughing too much, where like they’re like, “We know what the final riddle is! It’s his weakness! He’ll never ask that!” and he’s like, “Hahhh, what’s my weakness?” They’re like, “Ah s***!” It like, just literally immediately, he’s like, “Hey, I heard you, so,” and like well, we don’t know, but just like that whole sequence of events, of just like, “He’ll never do that… I’m doing it!”

Ethan: It’s very fairytale, which is a strong influence on a lot of the monster stuff in in Zyuranger.

Andrew: For sure.

Ethan: I think that’s all I have to say about that.

Nelson: It’s a good episode. Oh, all right.

Ethan: Nelson has our Rangers recap which, again, he’s been waiting for probably three months to lay out.

Nelson: I have. Yeah, I made these these notes… Let’s check…

Andrew: Before we shot the first episode.

Nelson: I did! Either way, yeah.

Ethan: “Food Fight!”

Nelson: So, Rangers recap, folks!

[“Go, go! Power Rangers!” + theme music]

Nelson: Power Rangers, episode six, “Food Fight.” So we open up in Angel Grove, at the cultural center, and they’re having a cultural food festival. You know, that can’t be problematic in any kind of way.

Ethan: I think my first note on on this sequence is literally “Oh, we’re just like exoticizing brown women. That’s exciting.” It’s like, Ernie shows up with…

Nelson: With pies.

Ethan: Well, he’s flanked by like two-

Nelson: Two women in hu-

Ethan: Two women in like Hawai’ian… Yeah, hula skirts and leis. And that’s like the first thing you see in this episode.

Nelson: He walks up to Bulk and Skull and he’s like, “Help me with these!” and then he looks- they look at the women and they’re like, “Wohh!”, he’s like, “The pies, come on.”

Ethan: Yeah, not a great way to start the episode. Anyway…

Nelson: Yeah, so, the the Rangers are helping out at the cultural food festival today. They do not have time to deal with Reader Repulsor-
“Reader Repulsor,” what am I, f*** Southern?

Andrew: “Reader Repulsor!” [Cowboy noises.]

Nelson: “Reader Repulsor.” But yeah, they don’t have time for her schemes today, and luckily, you know, she’s upset. She’s got a whole headache, doesn’t even want to think about taking over the Earth. And back at Angel Grove, at the cultural food fair, despite the multicultural foreign cuisine being the most popular of things, the principal guy- What’s the guy with the wig, the principal?

Ethan: Kaplan.

Nelson: Yeah, he just wants some good old American hot dogs and hamburgers.
But he doesn’t want to pay for ’em, because he’s old. He’s an old cheap b***. And so, here we go, this is where Bulk and Skull enter.
As with every episode, like I said before, last time I was here, GOATed theme song. Amazing.

[Bulk and Skull’s theme]

Nelson: And so, yeah, then Bulk and Skull throw some pies and you get a food fight. You know, it is what it says on the tin.

Andrew: Chekov’s food fight.

Nelson: You know, yeah.

Ethan: I have written down that they bean the principal’s wig clean off his head.

Nelson: Yeah, that’s- it’s like they were aiming for the wig.

Ethan: Yeah, it’s targeted.

Nelson: This food fight goes on, man. This goes on for a while.

Ethan: I wrote also in my notes, this must have been hell to clean up, because they are truly going for it.

Andrew: So much of the show, though, is just like, “Hey, let’s point out the way that this person is different and then ridicule them for it.”

Nelson: It was the 90s, dude!

Andrew: Yeah, it’s no wonder that they were aiming for the wig, you know?

Nelson: But yeah, so this awesome food fight gets Rita’s attention, and she makes a pig monster.

Andrew: I just love the idea that, “Oh my head hurts. Oh, I don’t want to deal with the Power Rangers. Oh, they’re having a food fight? Well, I must have a part of that!”

Nelson: I mean, yeah, dude, like trust me. Growing up in the 90s, somebody has a food fight, even if you’re not in the mood, you’re gonna get it.

Ethan: That’s something I always wanted to happen at the elementary school cafeteria. I never saw it.

Andrew: Can you imagine how bad it would have been if we had a food fight in the middle school cafeteria?

Ethan: Oh, god, middle school? I mean, middle school, people would have died. Like someone would have gotten stabbed with a fork.

Andrew: And even if nobody got stabbed with a fork, when the principal showed up- well, Mosley wouldn’t have done anything. But when the assistant principal showed up, somebody would have been grievously injured. He would have just started grabbing people by the hair. I mean, he was not a good dude.

Nelson: Wow. Yeah, no, see, I love the idea of a food fight, but also now that I’m like- I love that I say “now that I’m an adult” like I’m actually an adult, but like, I think about like, food allergies. It’s like the minute somebody with a peanut allergy…

Andrew: Yeah! Gets hit with some peanut butter…

Nelson: Like, you got a lawsuit on your hands.

Ethan: Well, I also would think about like solidarity with janitors, by not making the biggest mess in the universe. And like, they’re not gonna make the kids clean that up. We’re not gonna- they’re not gonna let us mop anything, so like it’s gonna fall on the janitors, and that’s way too much work for them to do.

Andrew: Not to mention, you know, the food waste.

Ethan: Yeah, that also sucks.

Nelson: Yeah, okay, so she summons this big old pig monster to Earth to eat all of the food on Earth. I’m talking all of it. And I- you know, I may have glossed over it a bit here, but this pig monster…

Andrew: It’s disgusting.

Nelson: Oh boy. Don’t like it. Don’t like it at all.

Ethan: I don’t like his voice.

[“Oh, I’m hungry! Oughghhhh!”]

Nelson: I don’t like what he looks like, I don’t like what he stands for, I don’t like anything about it.

Andrew: Are you familiar- There was a line of toys in the the late 80s and the early 90s called Mad Balls. It’s just grotesque balls.

Nelson: Yeah, it reminded me of a mixture between one of those and a Garbage Pail Kid.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Nelson: Because it just has a Trojan helmet for some reason.

Andrew: For no reason!

Ethan: There is a reason for that, that will not become clear until we get to this- the episode of Sentai that he’s up in, which…

Andrew: Which means that within the context of Power Rangers, there is no reason for it.

Ethan: Zero context. It’s just like, “What?”

Nelson: Yeah, and his arms, I think, are in his mouth?

Andrew: Yeah, he’s all like…

Nelson: Yeah, his arms come out of his mouth to pull the food into his mouth, and he’s also a head on legs in a Trojan helmet.

Ethan: It’s funny y’all mentioned Garbage Pail Kids and toys. We had a toy of this at my granddad’s house, and the back- like, the lowest back part of his helmet is on a hinge, so that you can open it up and extract all of the things that you can feed to him. So you could actually feed him your tiny Power Rangers weapons from the five inch scale line, and then open his a** up and pour them out and feed ’em- I mean, it’s silly, it’s silly.

Andrew: No, he’s a grotesque little dude.

Nelson: Yeah, so, after this pig monster gets here and he destroys their picnic and eats the potato salad that took them three days to make.

[“Way to go buddy. It took us three days to make that potato salad!”]

Ethan: Three days for potato salad?

Nelson: It’s a SpongeBob reference, sorry. Might have gone over your head.
You remember, “It took us three days to make this potato salad!”?

Ethan: No, that one escapes me. I remember a lot of SpongeBob, but that’s- this one escapes me.

Nelson: That one was a real in the pocket one for you. So basically they get yelled at by the principal and then they’re like, you know, as they usually do when they get in trouble, say, “F*** this, Zordon’s calling.” So they go to the other room and they just dip out, and Zordon’s like, “Pig monster’s here! Y’all gotta do something about this.” And they’re like, “Yeah, we should,” and in the meantime, the pig monster goes to Angel Grove. He goes to the cultural food festival…

Andrew: The place that the Rangers had just left!

Nelson: Where they just were! And it’s just terrorizing that, which means, and you know, this is another fun thing that we’ve pointed out in this podcast, they had to shoot new footage for this.

Andrew: I didn’t think about that, but you’re right.

Ethan: Yes, when they imported all of the props and costumes, they had somebody come in in that costume and start shoveling, you know, fake shoveling, but like shoveling all the food.

Nelson: He was Cookie Monster-in’ it. Yeah.

Ethan: I would jam on some cookies right now, ugh.

Nelson: They realize that the monster can’t have spicy food.

Ethan: Correct.

Nelson: And this is after they try to fight him and he eats their weapons, and just poots out little remainders of them.

Ethan: His little tail bouncing is like gro-tesque. It’s like boingoing. Blech.

Nelson: So they lure him in with spicy food and, you know, he starts coughing out their weapons, and then they make the Power Blaster and they shoot him to death.

Andrew: Now see, I don’t know about you, Nelson, but but when I eat spicy food, I immediately start coughing up weapons.

Nelson: I mean who doesn’t? I mean, who among us, right, you know? But yeah, coughs up the weapons, they form the Power Blaster, day saved.

Andrew: Day is saved!

Nelson: And then because, you know, what’s the 90s without making people appreciate other cultures that they thought were weird? And so they convinced the principal to eat a little bit of spicy food, just a little bit, and you know, and then that’s the end. And he’s like, “Oh, all right, all right, I like what you’re doing.” So, yeah, honestly, I’m glad we could finally talk about this episode because I feel like I’ve had too much build-up for this disappointing a** episode of Power Rangers. They don’t even go big, there’s no Megazord in this!

Ethan: No, so, because he doesn’t the Megazord doesn’t ever fight the pig monster in the original show.

Nelson: They just shoot him with the Power Blaster, and he’s gone.

Andrew: And at that point in the original- in Sentai, in Zyuranger, the Megazord was basically brand new, and they have already established that it only has to come out for a big threat. This pig monster is not a big threat. He’s just a gross little dude.

Ethan: Yeah, he’s just hungry.

Nelson: And he got dealt with like a gross little dude. He got shot and exploded.

Ethan: The spicy radish stuff is so funny to me. It’s so goofy. I have had radishes that are like gnarly tasting.

Nelson: Do they make spicy radishes?

Ethan: It’s not spicy in the way that a pepper is spicy…

Andrew: It’s just kinda sharp.

Nelson: Yeah, it’s like ginger.

Ethan: This one that I’m thinking of was a black radish. I went- I was on a trip to Washington State to visit some friends in 2018, and one of their friends worked on a farm, and they had been growing these like extremely gnarly black radishes. And if somebody snuck me a whole sandwich of that, I would have also spewed up all the magical power weapons. There is a bit where someone says “flip his wig.””

[“Mr. Kaplan is going to flip his wig! Again!”]

Ethan: In reference to Kaplan, and I noticed that Thuy Trang’s face- She is trying so hard not to break at that point, if you watch her face in that shot, she is like really really holding it in. I thought that was really funny. I think this is also the first instance that we see “morphenomenal” come up as a thing that the Rangers say? It’s so obnoxious.

[“Why not lure the animal with food after we stick a piece of the spicy radish root inside? Morphenomenal idea, Billy!”]

Ethan: Morphatominal, morphitudinous, it’s all…

Andrew: They kept trying for these catchphrases.

Nelson: Also, I think it’s implied that Zack is Jamaican?

Ethan: Is it?

Nelson: I mean, if you look at the booth that he’s at, I’m pretty sure it’s a Jamaican flag that’s behind him? Like I’m pretty sure. I have to go back and look, which I will, since I’ll be editing this. But yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s implied that he is Jamaican of some sort. Which, hey, I don’t know if you guys’ve ever had Jamaican food, but whew s***, man.

Andrew: When we lived in Maryland, long time ago, we could walk to this Jamaican joint. And Ryan and I would frequently eat so much that we made ourselves sick, because it was wonderful, and it was cheap, and it was right there. Yeah, I mean it was fantastic.

Ethan: Well, I want some Jamaican food now, I guess.

Nelson: Yeah, right, good stuff. You know, yeah, so that’s the episode. What are you guys’ thoughts on this episode, “Food Fight?”

Ethan: I think there’s not as much fat shaming as there could have been, but there’s a non-zero amount of fat shaming, and I don’t appreciate it, once again.

Nelson: I mean, they do put [Bulk’s] face in food. The pies.

Ethan: Well, I mean Kimberley kind of shame- fat shames the monster. Which like he’s a monster, he’s evil, but also like we didn’t have to… you know, these are the tools of the enemy, et cetera et cetera.

Andrew: Considering all of the episodes of Power Rangers up to this point, and how bad most of them have been, this one at least felt almost coherent. Like the plot, while full of ridiculous bulls, at least stuck to its ridiculous bulls enough that that it- like, whoever wrote this did a good enough job with it.

Ethan: You know, it’s a good utilization of the source film. It’s like yeah, okay, pig monster eats all the food. How can we frame this in a way that sort of makes sense and has some stakes. Again, Rita is working on such a small-time level, like we talked about in a previous episode. Rita wants to gain control of the park. Okay, why? What purpose does that serve? How does that help advance her like, world domination cause?

Andrew: Especially when we’ve established how powerful she is. Like, it does seem super petty. Like, Rita has the ability to-

Ethan: Wreck whole cities.

Andrew: -And if we take Bandora’s actions in the first episode of Zyuranger as canon, like, can just reconfigure the entire Tokyo Tower, and she wants a park.

Nelson: She can ride a bike in the sky.

Ethan: Yeah, or she wants to ruin one school’s food festival, when she could be like burning crop fields, you know, and-

Nelson: You know, she’s doing what a lot of people should be doing, and that’s thinking locally, all right. You gotta start somewhere, you gotta be the change you want to see.

Andrew: Rita living those Community Media values.

Nelson: Is she an ally?

Ethan: No! No, she also loves pollution and other stuff, and making children cry.

Andrew: Making children cry!

Nelson: She’d make a great Captain Planet villain.

Ethan: Oh, yeah!

Nelson: Would she be too powerful for Captain Planet?

Andrew: She might be too powerful for Captain Planet.

Nelson: All you power scaling nerds out there.

Ethan: Yeah, where does Captain Planet fall on the Megazord scale? Like could Captain Planet take the Megazord?

Andrew: I need to know this.

Nelson: I think Captain Planet could take the Megazord.

Andrew: I need you to seek me out and tell me.

Nelson: Yeah, Deathbattle. Let’s get that going. They still do that, right? You haven’t watched Deathbattle?

Ethan: Are you talking about like, the claymation celebrity death battle?

Nelson: No, no, that’s Celebrity Deathmatch. It’s like a YouTube series…
with Whiz and Boomstick… I’m- you probably- that probably sounds like I’m just making s*** up. Yeah, no, but it’s like, a show where they take all the attributes of two characters and they animate like a death battle between them. Yeah, it’s real-

Ethan: Ichigo versus Naruto or something.

Nelson: Yeah. Yeah, or like Omniman versus Homelander. Yeah, if they’re still making those, let’s get Captain Planet against the Power Rangers.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Nelson: The Planeteers against the Power Rangers.

Andrew: Let’s do it. Okay, research time? I’ll start the research.

Ethan: So I know what our research topic is today, because we were talking about it off camera, off mic, but tell the people what do we got today.

Andrew: So for today’s research topic, I’m looking to talk about the actor who appears in the most episodes of Power Rangers. I got curious, I did some cursory internet searching, and and my cursory internet searching told me something that I didn’t believe? I thought was a lie. And it turns out that I was right not to believe it. So, let’s get into it.

Ethan: He’s been real cagey about who this actually is. He keeps talking about “the actor this, the actor that.” And so like I have a good idea, but I don’t actually know. So I’m really interested.

Andrew: I surprised myself. So let’s go. So first and foremost, if you search “who appears in the most episodes of Power Rangers?”, what you’re gonna get is Jason David Frank, who has not appeared in the show yet,
but who plays the Green Ranger and later the White Ranger.

Ethan: And later the Gold Ranger and later the Black Ranger.

Andrew: And I have no doubt that he was the Power Ranger who appeared as a Power Ranger in the most episodes of Power Rangers, but he hasn’t shown up so far in this series.

Ethan: Episode 17. It’s gonna be a banger.

Nelson: We’re getting close to that.

Ethan: Yeah.

Nelson: Nice.

Andrew: And some of his his co-stars, or at least some of his fellow actors, who are already in the show, also stick around for at least as long as he does, so I thought it was weird that that he would have the reputation as being in the most episodes, you know? So I did some more digging and specifically I went and looked at specific actors. There’s a character who’s already appeared in the show who definitely beats him and his name is Eugene Skullovich. He’s played by Jason Narvy and he appears in 151 episodes of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, 50 episodes of Zeo, 44 episodes of Power Rangers Turbo, 43 episodes of Power Rangers In Space,
an episode of Wild Force, an episode of Lost Galaxy, and an episode of Power Rangers Samurai. He also appears in a one-off Bulk and Skull spin-off. They did a a direct-to-video spin-off episode because they were going to do a Bulk and Skull television program.

Ethan: When I was verifying that Paul Schrier is Bulk’s actor for the episode four transcript, I peeked into that and I did see a mention of that.

Nelson: There’s your special episode mention for this one.

Andrew: So that’s a hell of a run, you know, a ton of episodes.

Ethan: How many is that total?

Andrew: Just over 290. It’s about 294 or so, depending on if you count the the spin-off. And in a couple of those his character appears, but he does not. I don’t know if you recall this, but for a little while in Turbo, Bulk and Skull are played by monkeys.

Ethan: I did- I read about this also.

Andrew: And that’s while they were shooting the Bulk and Skull spin-off show.

Ethan: I think they did voiceovers for those episodes, but their faces don’t appear.

Andrew: So so just over 290, but is that actually the most appearances from a single actor?

Ethan: I have no idea.

Andrew: It turns out the answer is no.

Nelson: Oh, who do we got?

Andrew: Skull’s counterpart, Bulk.

Nelson: Ahhh!

Andrew: Surprisingly, Bulk, played by Paul Schrier, beats him out, depending on how you count it, he either beats him out by a little bit, or he beats him out by a lot. Paul Schrier appears in every episode of Power Rangers Samurai and in nearly every episode that that Jason Narvy appears in, plus a bunch that Jason Narvy does not appear in. And that by itself would be enough to put him in in the lead slot, but but like I said, it depends on how you count it, because he also appeared as a lead character in a thing called Power Rangers HyperForce. Power Rangers HyperForce is a canonical, officially-licensed web series that was done as a podcast and a Twitch stream.

Nelson: What!

Andrew: It’s a Power Rangers role-playing game. It’s a tabletop game, and they did this tabletop game, they had a bunch of professionals come in and play characters for this tabletop game, and they made the plot of the tabletop game canon within Power Rangers. It crosses over with several of the Power Rangers comic books and Paul Schrier plays a character named Jack Thomas, who is the HyperForce Yellow Ranger.

Ethan: I saw that mentioned when I was verifying that actor’s name. This makes sense now. It made no sense to me at the time, because I was like wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

Nelson: Yeah, that’s something else.

Ethan: So how long is the HyperForce series?

Andrew: It’s like 20-something episodes.

Ethan: Of what, an hour a piece?

Andrew: No, they’re like half an hour.

Ethan: Oh geez, that’s super digestible.

Andrew: It aired in 2017, 2018. I’ll actually end up talking about it a little more in my next research segment. But yeah, so I did the the digging and Paul Schrier appears in more episodes of Power Rangers than anybody else, and I just find that fascinating.

Ethan: He stuck around. I mean, this- we’re talking about like a span of
30…

Andrew: Yeah…

Nelson: 30 years.

Ethan: 1993 to 2024 is a long time. [Transcriber’s note: you ain’t have to say that about your/myself.]

Andrew: We talk about this a lot on the show, but his character is just treated horribly, and it’s honestly a little heartwarming to me that he managed to take that and turn it into a multi-decade career, that in many ways culminates with him getting to assume the role of of an actual Power Ranger. I mean, like, I love that for him. That’s what I got. You know, I was surprised by this answer. It was not what I was expecting. And so in a couple of episodes, when I come back and do some more research segment, I’m gonna get into Paul Schrier and what else he has done. But I didn’t want to bog us down here, because I just love that reveal.

Ethan: No, that’s awesome. I read a little bit about his role in Samurai and some other stuff, and it didn’t even occur to me that he would be in the number one spot.

Andrew: And it’s kind of neat to watch as their characters- as Bulk and Skull evolve from like, the comic relief bullies to kind of almost supportive side characters. Like in the Turbo era, they’re still like not exactly friendly, but like the Power Rangers are frequently- they’re helping Bulk and Skull out, as opposed to bullying them, and as the show continues to progress that becomes a- more and more of their relationship is that these are just dudes that they know and are are generally friendly with.

Ethan: Why do I remember something about the Puce and Mauve Rangers? Does this ring a bell to you at all?

Andrew: No.

Nelson: Yes. Cause one of them was like the Purple Ranger? Yeah.

Ethan: Yeah. Is that- that’s ringing a bell with you?

Nelson: Yeah, I don’t remember what that was about, but I know there was a Purple Ranger who wasn’t a Power Ranger.

Ethan: They like, make their own costumes or something.

Nelson: They called him the Mauve Ranger?

Ethan: Yeah.

Nelson: That’s hilarious.

Ethan: I can’t remember the context, I don’t remember which season of the show it’s in…

Nelson: What child would know what color mauve is?

Ethan: That’s the joke. It’s like puce and mauve are such obscure…

Nelson: That’s crazy.

Ethan: I don’t remember any of the context, or even if it’s from the show, or like a comic, or something else.

Andrew: If you search for “Puce and Mauve Ranger,” you get Bulk’s wiki page. I don’t know the details and I will find out before my next research segment.

Ethan: This is such a very faint but distinct memory that I have. I can’t remember anything about it. I just remember them like basically sewing their own costumes that are not Power Ranger- they’re not power suits, and then like declaring themselves the Puce and Mauve Rangers.

Nelson: Puce and mauve.

Ethan: Puce and mauve, yeah.

Nelson: That’s crazy.

Ethan: But I can’t remember anything else about it. I just remember that that’s a thing that happened at some point.

Andrew: Okay, so that’s some research.

Nelson: That is some research.

Ethan: Yeah, no, that’s such a cool question.

Nelson: Good little trivia.

Andrew: Oh, I didn’t give a total. Bulk appears in well over 300 episodes, and if you include the the stuff from HyperForce, it gets up to like the
330 or so.

Ethan: Awesome. If we ever get a cast member on the show, we should spring that fact on them and see how they- what they think. I mean, we should we should ask them who they think it is, because I imagine all- virtually all of them would say Jason David Frank, and I think the fact that Bulk and Skull beat him out, both of them, is really funny.

Nelson: They’re the most Power Rangers Power Rangers, you know?

Ethan: Okay, well, I mean is that everything we have to say about these episodes?

Andrew: Yeah, I think that’s it.

Nelson: That’s it.

Ethan: Okay.

Nelson: Ethan, hit ’em with the outro.

Ethan: We’ll be back next time to discuss episode seven of Zyuranger, “Mieru, Mieru! (I can see, I can see!)”, and Power Rangers, “Big Sisters.” 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 @KenkyuuSentaiPodcastRangers@Meet.CommunityMedia.Network. Andrew, how can people get in touch and what should they look out for?

Andrew: So I’m @AJRoach42@Retro.Social on the Fediverse. You can find the stuff that I’m doing at AndrewRoach.net. That’s all I got to say today.

Ethan: Okay. Nelson, what do you want to shout out?

Nelson (caught by surprise): Oh, uh, so-

Ethan: Middle school flashback, oh god!

Nelson: Yeah, right. So, I work on Working Class Music, you can go check that out. You know, I’ve got videos there of me doing music stuff. Speaking of music stuff, I’ll be here, playing playing a show in March.

Andrew: Which you’ll be able to watch on New Ellijay Television.

Nelson: Yeah, which you can watch.

Ethan: Or you could just show up. You have plenty of time.

Andrew: Yeah, when was the last time you played a solo show, Nelson?

Nelson: Phew boy, I’m not gonna say that on air, because then they might not come.

Andrew: Was it 10 years ago?

Nelson: I mean, I wouldn’t say 10 years ago.

Andrew: Was it 2015?

Nelson: Like, out? Not just like at my house? Oh, okay, probably like
I’d say…

Andrew: ’16 at the latest, man.

Nelson: No, 2017.

Andrew: Yeah?

Nelson: 2017, 2018 probably.

Andrew: Really?

Nelson: Yeah, it’s been a while.

Andrew: You played a show in ’17?

Nelson: I think so. I actually went and did some stuff last night. My buddy was doing like a whole karaoke thing with his band, and I was like, can you guys play “Short skirt, long jacket” by CAKE? We did that and f*** “Beverly Hills” by Weezer.

Andrew: Of course.

Nelson: Yeah, so that’s what I did last night. Got to get the reps in. But yeah come see John Thefruitman. Andrew finally gets what he wants. You also find me @Nelsonforyou on wherever, and if you can’t find that, don’t do anything else. Take a nap.

Andrew: Take a nap.

Ethan: Take a nap. That sounds good.

Nelson: All right, we’ll see you guys next time.

Ethan: Yeah! Okay, 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 EllijayMakerspace.org and you can learn more about the Cherokee people by visiting Cherokee.org. Strength, love, and solidarity to all oppressed people, and in the words of a wise man: f*** capitalism; go home.

Nelson: Yeah!

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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 Five Please Do Not Treat The Deaf Girl Like A Dog

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 – S01E05: Please Do Not Treat The Deaf Girl Like A Dog.
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Ethan: All right are we good? We rolling?

Nelson (distantly): Yep! All right, let’s uh… do the old clapperoony.

Ethan: All right, three, two, one. [Clap.] Okay! That was- we discussed The Procedure. We have The Procedure down now.

Andrew: We planned it.

Ethan: We planned it! You have to plan it.

[“It’s morphin time!” + intro music]

Ethan: Okay, minnaasan, 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 Ethan!

Ethan: How’s it going?

Andrew: It’s- it’s going.

Ethan: We’re having a day.

Andrew: It’s been a day. My name is Andrew, I also use he/him pronouns, and I’m here to talk about some Power Rangers.

Ethan: Some Powerful Rangers. Today we’re discussing Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger episode five “Kowai Nazo Nazo (Scary Riddles)” and Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers season one, episode five, “Different Drum.” Without further ado, unless we have further ado, let’s get into the recap. You got any further ado?

Andrew: Naw. This- the-

Ethan: It’s a weird batch, guys.

Andrew: Continuing the trend, these Sentai episodes are much better than these Power Rangers episodes.

[“Kyoryu Sentai… Zyuranger!!”]

Ethan: Okay, so, Super Sentai recap. “Kowai Nazo Nazo” was written by Sugimura Noboru and directed by Sakamoto Taro. We begin with the most ominously threatening gameshow host to ever harass random children in the park. This is Dora Sphinx, who uses riddles to trap people and blow them away with his wings. While Dora Sphinx is being the most normal anyone has ever been, Dan and Boi are out on the town, enjoying some modern life. Dan has got a 170 million year thirst to quench. In the underground sanctuary, Geki is dreaming about wandering alone through a scorching desert. Mei wakes him, but something is wrong. Bandora, having a dance party in her palace, invokes the name of Satan and gives a speech about how much she hates children. Dora Sphinx captures Boi while Dan is making a phone call, which leads Dan to impetuously allow himself to be captured so that the other Rangers can figure out where Dora Sphinx is sending everyone. The other Rangers spot him flying through the air and follow him to a forest where Dora Sphinx has turned all his victims into trees, which he reveals will soon be cut down to build a golf course. Teleporting the remaining Rangers to an amphitheater, Dora Sphinx proceeds to capture Mei and then Goushi, leaving Geki all on his own. He does manage to solve the riddles, except the last one, which isn’t really even a riddle. Teleporting again to a quarry, Bandora makes Dora Sphinx a giant, so Geki summons his Guardian Beast, but instead of fighting with him to defeat Dora Sphinx, the Tyrannosaurus teleports Geki again to the scorching desert that he foresaw in his vision. To be continued! It’s a two-parter.

Andrew: Aren’t they all?

Ethan: No, no.

Andrew: Just all the ones that have happened so far.

Ethan: Right, because we’re setting- we’re still sort of doing some stagesetting, so this one leads into the next episode, “Tate, Daizyujin!” where they form the Megazord for the first time, and then seven and eight are sort of standalone, monster of the week style. So I think there’s-

Andrew: I haven’t watched those. I’m supposed to have watched those but… I’ll watch them tonight.

Ethan: It’s fine. You’ll watch them tonight. A couple of really interesting points about this episode: this is the first time we hear Great Satan’s name mentioned. That’s important. Pay attention to that, put a pin in that. Comes up again,

Andrew: So I’m a little confused, because I thought the Great Satan was the United States of America.

Ethan: That is- this is a fascinating fanfiction universe you’ve just spawned, where just- where Rita’s just like, a troop.

Andrew: Yeah!

Ethan: …No, it’s a- it’s like, in Zyuranger, Great Satan is this sort of very ancient evil spirit.

Andrew: Okay.

Ethan: We’ll get more information later.

Andrew: So when you talk about the Great Satan of the United States of America, you’re you’re talking about something completely different.

Ethan: Two different Satans. The action in this is so goofy, just the way that the Sphinx like flexes his whole core and arms to flap his wings and everybody just zoots through the air, I mean it’s just all over the place.

Andrew: This footage was used in the episode of Power Rangers we talked about in the last episode, if I’m not mistaken, and it made absolutely no sense there, and I’m grateful that it makes slightly more sense here, but there is so much teleporting in this one. They’re just like-

Ethan: Yeah, they’re just like all over the place.

Andrew: It was almost as bad as Power Rangers with the- just like, “Okay, well, we’ve got some footage out here in the in the quarry, so… guess everybody’s going to the quarry!”

Ethan: And now we’re here. The Sphinx’s riddles are all really like s—y puns in Japanese. Some of them I was able to follow, and some of them I was not, but that’s sort of his whole deal, is that he he grills you on more more and more increasingly obscure wordplay until he can trap you in a tree and then you get cut down to make a golf course. It’s… it’s a scheme.

Andrew: What a convoluted way to kill people.

Ethan: Yeah and you know, Bandora’s whole sort of idea is that like all the children will disappear, and then all the trees will get cut down when the golf course gets built, and humanity as a whole will be so full of despair from this disappearance and then killing of the children, that they’ll just give up on everything, and I don’t know. She’s kind of all over the place.

Andrew: The idea, right, that that all the children of the world and/or Japan are going to disappear, and they’re still gonna build the golf course… Don’t you think construction would stop?

Ethan: It’s- yeah, this is a plan with many holes in it. We will learn through the course of this show that Bandora’s working through some stuff.

Andrew: Sure.

Ethan: I’m not- I don’t want to spoil anything because it’s kind of like the sort of core-

Andrew: I mean she has been imprisoned for a really long time.

Ethan: There’s a reason for that. We’ll get into that, you know, as more of her and Barza’s backstory are revealed, but I think that’s all I have to really say it’s a lot of setup for next episode. Geki’s getting these visions of this sort of desert otherworld, where he’s a sort of like wandering through. He looks like, he looks really sick, when Mei wakes him up. He’s like sweaty and red and he’s like- you know, he looks like how you feel when you wake up from a really good nap at totally the wrong time of day.

Andrew: Yeah, this one was was super disorienting. And like, intentionally so, but I’m glad I watched this one and the next one back to back.

Ethan: Yeah, definitely a two-parter and also the Sphinx’s his laugh and his human form is just so funny and I think that’s all I have to say about that.

Andrew: Cool.

Ethan: Hit us with a-

Andrew: Power Rangers!

Ethan: -Power Rangers recap?

Andrew: I can do that.

[“Go! Go! Power Rangers!”]

Andrew: So this episode is called “Different Drum” and spoilers: it was not good.

Ethan: Not very good. There was an attempt made to like make an inclusive and interesting episode of television, and they did not do that.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean- well, I’ll just get into it. So this episode opens with Billy failing to dance and being made fun of. They specifically ridicule his ability to get girls. As we’ve mentioned previously, this is a thing that they’re real, real rough on Billy. They’re almost as bad to Billy as they are to Bulk and Skull, and it’s a real shame.

Ethan: It takes on a different dimension when you know that David Yost is gay, also.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, and that they have written into the show that Billy can’t get girls, I mean. Kimmy’s teaching a dance class. A member of Kimmy’s dance class is deaf. According to the Power Rangers Wiki, her name is Melissa, but I don’t remember them calling her by that name at this point in the episode. Kimmy signs instructions to her, I’m sure that this is some kind of foreshadowing. Rita decides to use music monsters to fight the Power Rangers. She also insults Finster. Bulk and Skull show up to the gym/cafeteria where the Power Rangers always are, for some reason, and are challenged to dance. The gathered teenagers ridicule Bulk with some incredibly fatphobic bulls** t ending with Bulk tearing his jeans again.

Ethan: Second episode in a row. In my notes, I do have one note which is that Billy’s fit in this episode is like a truly excellent like, non-binary transmasc look, and also Bulk and Skull’s- all of Bulk and Skull’s outfits would be like peak lesbian fashion in about 12 years.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. I particularly disliked the way that the backing music changed between Zack and Bulk dancing. I don’t know if you noticed that, but but Zack’s got like music with a beat and then when they switch over to Bulk-

Ethan: It’s just like clown noises.

Andrew: It’s, yeah, it’s very much like Benny Hill kind of thing.

Ethan: Yaketty Sax.

Andrew: Like, hey, let’s let’s make fun of the fat guy. Of course this all ends with Bulk face planting into Zack’s food, as is common with these encounters. At this point, the Power Rangers leave to watch a movie.

Ethan: Okay.

Andrew: Yeah. Instead of any kind of modern music, Finster, who has been instructed by Rita to build a music monster, built an accordion monster to hypnotize children.

Ethan: Yep, the Gnarly Gnome.

Andrew: Melissa, as was established earlier, is not impacted by this monster.

Ethan: Right.

Andrew: There is actually very little accordion music played. There is a little bit, but it’s mostly just this weird drone. They just play this like , [BERRRRRRRRR…..]

Ethan: Yeah, so when this monster shows up in Zyuranger, I mean it sounds like–I need to go back and listen again–but it sounds like he’s playing “Working on the Railroad” and “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dina” and I was like- I had to pause the video and say, “Wait a second, is that-? What was that?” But you’re right, it’s just sort of this sort of tuneless, arhythmic, amelodic sort of noise.

Andrew: Drone.

Ethan: Hypnotizes all the…

Andrew: The monster Pied Pipers the kids into a cave. Melissa, for unknown reasons, follows along, but can’t enter the cave because of some kind of net. This is not explained. Apparently, deaf people can’t enter caves. So she goes back to the gym/juice bar to tell the Power Rangers. Why? Who knows! There’s a moment when she gets back to the juice bar that’s really s-y. While no one is around who can sign, and before she starts writing that she needs help, they do this almost like Lassie thing with her and-

Ethan: Literally Jason’s like, “What is it? What’s wrong?”

Andrew: And yeah, I mean, instantly made me deeply uncomfortable. Thankfully it does not last for long, and and they do recover and and do something reasonable but like, it was real, real s-y. The footage from the cave, I thought, was pretty interesting, in that it is a combination of the Japanese mask footage and fresh American footage. They’ve got the American kids kind of superimposed alongside the mask footage. I thought it worked pretty well. They’ve done that a couple of times in the past and it has worked really, really poorly. This is the the first time that I’ve seen it work well. At this point, the the Gnome turns invisible for some reason. Not explained at all. The Rangers then morph with no clear reason and appear holding their weapons before immediately engaging the monster in battle.

Ethan: I wrote “beating his a** right out the gate.”

Andrew: Keep in mind, this is a monster that they’ve never seen before, and have no contact with. They know nothing about this guy, they just morph, weapons, fight. They very quickly decide to build the ridiculous gun and power blast the monster. I don’t know what the ridiculous gun is supposed to be called, I don’t remember from the previous episode. I will be referring to it only as the ridiculous gun.

Ethan: I think they name it the Power Blaster, which is way less cool than its Sentai-

Andrew: That explains why I said “and power blast the monster.”

Ethan: Yeah, in Super Sentai, it’s called the Howling Cannon, which just kicks a**, sounds really good.

Andrew: Yeah, so Rita throws her staff and makes the monster grow, the Zangers summon their Zords, they pull the crystals and go tank mode. Kimmy’s footage in this montage is is weirdly desaturated, as if they had used a shot of a different ranger.

Ethan: I made a note of that too! Yeah, no, it’s just- some of the colors are like very muted, she just looks gray. Most of the other Rangers look fine, but like something happened with that film transfer, I think.

Andrew: So they they go tank mode. The tank battle is ineffective, so they go Megazord mode. The monster starts playing music, which makes the Rangers hallucinate a city, or possibly teleports to them, it’s not really clear. They then pull the sword, as introduced in the last episode, and they end the fight. With the monster dead, the teenagers free the prisoners who don’t question anything about their situation, in spite of the fact that they obviously should. At this point, we hear Melissa’s name for the first time.

Ethan: Five-sixths of the way through the episode.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean, seconds before it’s over. They were like, “Oh, yeah, we should give her a name.” We end up back at the gym and juice bar. Billy dances with Melissa. Apparently, he can break dance now. That’s the episode.

Ethan: I mean, he really busts it out. It’s kind of incredible.

Andrew: I have to assume that that both David Yost and Walter Jones have a background in dance. I think we looked up in the last episode that Walter Jones definitely does.

Ethan: Walter definitely does. Also lost a piece of a finger as a child, which I thought was wild.

Andrew:But like two episodes in a row that weirdly center on dance, and that specifically center on Billy’s inability to dance, which I thought was just a really weird choice, and probably explains some of the weird hang-ups I had as a kid about dancing.

Ethan: That makes sense.

Andrew: I had serious insecurities about the concept of dance.

Ethan: I still do.

Andrew: And I blame Power Rangers for that entirely.

Ethan: That’s not unreasonable. I have many questions about this episode, but one of them is: why is a giant gnome not just a regular sized guy? Gnomes are tiny, supposedly, so you make a giant gnome, it’s just like a guy. That’s my main question. No, I mean this one is really interesting because it is another pretty poor adaptation of the source episode from Zyuranger, which we’re kind of ahead of the curve now, as far as monsters go, and I don’t think we’ll match up again until episode 17, but the Gnarly Gnome is based on Dora Goblin, and Dora Goblin pulls on a lot of like Celtic fairy mythos, in that he is able to like- they they called it ‘mazing.’ Basically you’re wandering through the woods at night, you’re trying to get home, and you keep getting turned around: you’ve been fairy-mazed. So he can’t be seen by adults, which is where the invisibility stuff comes from, and the only way to make him visible is to get him to swap his shoes. And so there’s a whole bit in episode seven about them getting him to swap his shoes. That’s episode seven, which is “Mieru, Mieru!”, which we’ll talk about two episodes from now. But- so a lot of the monsters so far have been like quasi-Greek-mythology-based this one is just totally random, it’s a fairy.

Andrew: And they did not use any of that mythology in the Power Rangers episode.

Ethan: No, absolutely none. It just sort of shows up and starts doing the Pied Piper thing.

Andrew: And then as soon as they see him, they’re like, “Okay, time to beat the gnome’s a**.”

Ethan: There’s a whole bit… I mean, sort of the whole conflict in the Zyuranger episode is that the Rangers are adults and can’t see the monster. So they are like losing the fight and it’s- they have to figure out a strategy, you know, sort of around that. This is not a good adaptation of of that source material. It’s kind of all over the place. And like I said at the start of the episode, they made an attempt to like be inclusive and have a disabled character like feature prominently, but… I mean she does sort of save the day, but she’s also treated quite badly. She’s not named until the end of the episode, but the the girl who bumps into her and gets s—-y about it is named, like first thing. So I mean they really- they they were aiming in the right direction, but I think they really missed the mark with this. But it’s nice to see that they’re trying, given the other sort of background that we know about, you know, with Saban’s politics and with the weird color coding of the morph suits. You know, they made an attempt, and that’s something, but I think that’s all I really have to say about “Different Drum.”

Andrew: I don’t have much to say about it either. It was not a very good episode.

Ethan: No, not a very good episode.

Andrew: I did not feel good about watching it, I did not feel good about myself after having watched it. Normally, these are at least fun, but the battles in this one were also just garbage. This episode, I think, represents the worst of Power Rangers so far. It is just…

Ethan: It’s frantic, almost. Doesn’t follow anything…

Andrew: It’s nonsensical, it doesn’t really- there is a plot there, and I’ll give it that. Compared to to some of the earlier episodes that they do, they are following a plot, but it feels so rushed and shoehorned and just vaguely coherent. And I know that Power Rangers gets better than this, I’ve alluded to that a couple of times, but like I’ve gotten far enough in on Power Rangers that I know that Power Rangers gets better than this.

Ethan: That’s how you know it was a kid’s show, because we ate it up when we were small, but looking at it with any degree of criticality is just like, “Whew….”

Andrew: But also I probably never saw this episode as a kid, you know? This is not one that would have been picked up in syndication reruns, you know? It was filler.

Ethan: If I had to sit down and make a list of episodes that I did see, I would not be able to.

Andrew: No, I probably couldn’t either, but there are some moments that I really distinctly remember, you know? I remember the Green Ranger saga, I probably had that on VHS at some point, you know. But like that there are moments that I remember and this is nowhere near them. If I saw this episode as a kid, it definitely didn’t make an impression, but I think chances are good that neither one of us would have, because this would have aired probably just when it aired.

Ethan: Yeah, that makes sense.

Andrew: There’s no good reason for this to be part of the the recap. Doesn’t move the plot forward, it doesn’t move the story forward, and it’s not very good.

Ethan:Mhm, yeah. Sort of sticking with the monster of the minute-

Andrew: Yeah, even more so in this case, because they see the monster, they beat the monster. Like, there’s no buildup, there’s no tension, just as a storytelling device, this episode falls flat on its a**.

Ethan: There was one more funny thing, which is that the weird net that falls down over the cave is like very obviously like a… construction netting, but it makes a sound like a castle portcullis. Like it’s probably magic or whatever, but I just think that was funny that… I mean, those things, they come in varying degrees of flimsiness. Some of them you could just like rip apart with your hands, and some that are a bit more tough, but none of them like are made of metal and could keep any human person out with any degree of effectiveness. Just an odd- kind of a running theme of like odd sound effects.

Andrew: Foley work’s hard.

Ethan (misunderstanding slightly): Yeah, foley does work hard. They just make strange choices.

Andrew: Well, so, to do foley work effectively is very difficult, but I think that it is very likely that instead of doing foley work, effectively, what they’ve done for this episode is just used a sound effects library.

Ethan: Yeah, almost certainly, yeah.

Andrew: And a lot of the sounds that they’re using here you can identify back to a couple of the widely available sound effects libraries.

Ethan: And it goes back to the the car squeak noise from from “Hi Five.”

Andrew: Yeah, it’s a cost cutting measure. You can use a sound effects library instead of having a foley artist, as long as you don’t care if your sound effects are very good.

Ethan: Yeah, which for a show for children in the 90s, didn’t really matter.

Andrew: And like I do it all the time. I’ve been scoring cartoons for New Ellijay Television, the two Mickey Mouse cartoons that recently entered the public domain. One of them did not have a soundtrack, so I scored it, put some music behind it, added some sound effects, and like I picked one of the commonly available sound effects libraries, and picked some sound effects out of it, and it’s fine. It works.

Ethan: You get a Wilhelm scream in there?

Andrew: I did not get a Wilhelm scream in there. There is not an instant- I mean, there’s one instance right after Mickey gets slapped that it could have worked, but anyway-

Ethan: I love a Wilhelm scream. It’s just- it’s very good.

Andrew: Nelson, you want to insert one right here?

Nelson: Yup. [AAAUUUUGH] Also, there’s a thing, when they’re fighting the Putties, I don’t know if you guys noticed, but when they’re fighting the Putties like there’s just like a pipe noise?

Ethan: Yeah! Yeah, it’s just like like a pipe hitting a concrete wall or something. It makes me wonder, like- they’re called Putty, they’re made of clay, but like what does hitting them feel like? Because like I’ve handled like the bags of clay we have in the pottery studio next door to here. I don’t know if you could just like…

Andrew: The putties have been fired.

Ethan: They have been fired. So are they like-?

Andrew: Bisque! They’re stoneware.

Ethan: That’s very weird to think about.

Andrew: And so like it would be like punching brittle rocks.

Ethan: Sounds bad.

Andrew: Yeah, and they do it barehanded all the time.

Ethan: Uh-huh. The the pipe noise that Nelson brings up is- it’s a really good sound effect.

Andrew: For something else, yeah.

Ethan: No, no, it’s like- it fits really well. Like it doesn’t make any logical sense, but it is like- it adds to the spectacle of the of the thing. Okay, well, I think that’s good for our talkback, and we’ll move on to our research portion, which is mine today because it’s an odd-numbered episode. My research topic this time is ‘What is tokusatsu?’ and this is a part one. We’re gonna have to dive into this.

Andrew: So, Ethan, what is tokusatsu?

Ethan: We’ll get to that. It’s an enormous topic with, you know, i mean- explicitly of, you know, 40, almost 50, years of TV history, but actually going back much further than that. For my first research segment, in episode one, I chose Ishinomori Shotaro, who is credited as essentially creating the Super Sentai franchise with Himitsu Sentai Gorenger in 1975. But where does this wider genre of tokusatsu come from? Tokusatsu translated literally means “special filming.” It denotes using techniques like miniatures and scale model sets, as well as camera tricks like the low angles used to make characters look giant, and the origins go back even further than 1975. Tokusatsu has origins in traditional Japanese theater disciplines like kabuki’s choreographed stage fights and bunraku’s puppetry. Tokusatsu also has subgenres within it, as well: kaiju films like Godzilla, for example, as well as superhero shows like Kamen Rider and Super Sentai. There are two names it’s important to know when discussing the origins of the style of filmmaking and those are Makino Shozo and Tsuburaya Eiji. Makino was a very early filmmaker in Japan, with his earliest credit on IMDB listed as 1908. He directed dozens of short films and popularized the jidaigeki style of Japanese period films, depicting medieval and feudal Japan, and he used trick shots and other techniques to give these early films more expression. And another interesting tidbit is that he recruited a kabuki actor called Onoe Matsunosuke into being one of Japan’s first film stars. This is like, how do you make a film with lots of feeling with the first camera ever made? I mean, we’re talking black and white silent movies, early, early stuff.

Andrew: The same kind of thing that Melies would have been dealing with in France, trying to like, get some movement and emotion into- at the time they they didn’t really even have camera movement, they hadn’t worked out the dolly yet, you know?

Ethan: Tsuburaya Eiji came into filmmaking significantly later, but like Ishinomori, would have an outsize effect for a single creator. Among his many credits are the original Godzilla, as well as many of its sequels, Kurosawa Akira’s Throne of Blood, and, crucially, Ultraman, which Tsuburaya created. Like Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, the Ultraman franchise is one of those mega-popular media behemoths in Japan, which is still going to this day, having inspired and influenced many generations of creators there, including, for example, Anno Hideaki, the creator of Evangelion. It’s all connected whe[n] you start looking. We’ll get more into tokusatsu, and filmmaking in Japan in general, in the future. There’s a lot to dig into.

Andrew: So Ultraman was probably my second exposure to tokusatsu, after Power Rangers.

Ethan: Yeah, late sixties.

Andrew: And not from the Ultraman show or anything, but from the fact that my dad had grown up as a huge Ultraman fan. You know, makes sense time-wise. And he showed up one day at the house, I think he had gone on a work trip, but he came back one day from wherever he had been with a bunch of Ultraman toys, big vinyl Ultraman toys, and I didn’t know anything about this guy, I just knew that he was much bigger than all my other toys, and so he got to wreck stuff. So like Ultraman- I, to this day, have not seen any Ultraman. We should do a special episode at some point, but he holds a very special place in my heart.

Ethan: We would have to do a bunch of special episodes, because there is a ton of Ultraman to watch. I would be interested! We had a VHS of Godzilla vs Megalon.

Andrew: Is that the one with Jet Jaguar?

Ethan: That is the one with Jet Jaguar, who is…

Andrew: Ultraman.

Ethan: Who is basically Ultraman, yeah. This is one of those figures who- I mean, he is- that franchise is just so popular in Japan, and has been forever, and now, I mean, there’s been multiple Netflix animated shows now, and it’s just all over the place. I mean, it’s one of those really, really big ones and, like I said a minute ago, like started in the late 60s. Like I think the first Ultraman broadcasts were before color.

Andrew: Makes sense.

Ethan: So this tokusatsu franchise, or style, rather, is- it’s got a lot of depths to it, and it goes it goes back a long way, depending on, you know, sort of, how you count it.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean like, when did the first Godzilla film come out? 54?

Ethan: 54.

Andrew: Yeah, so like, at least that far.

Ethan: And Tsuburaya was like, the like, special effects director, basically, for that. Pioneered some wild things and went on to sort of create Ultraman, which it- became this massive media success.

Andrew: And paves the way for everything else.

Ethan: So lots of really interesting sort of- the roots reached to really interesting places.

Andrew: Yeah, we gotta go find some of the silent films.

Ethan: Yeah, absolutely. They’re all- I mean, I don’t know all of them, but many of them are listed on IMDB, so we have something to look for.

Andrew: Cool.

Ethan: Okay, and I guess that’s it. We’ll be back next time to discuss episode six of Zyuranger, “Tate, Dazyujin! (Arise, Daizyujin!)” and Power Rangers, “Food Fight.” 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 @KenkyuuSentaiPodcastRangers@meet.communitymedia.network. Andrew, how can people get in touch and what should they look out for?

Andrew: I’m @AJRoach42@Retro.Social, which is the best way to find me. If you want stuff to look out for: go check out New Ellijay Television. We’ve got a bunch of big stuff planned. It’s probably where you’ve gotten this podcast from, but if you got it from, you know, one of those podcast distribution networks, go click the link. It’ll be worth it, I promise.

Ethan: Yeah. That’s all show we have for you today. Thank you so much for listening. 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 EllijayMakerspace.org and you can learn more about the Cherokee people by visiting Cherokee.org. Strength, love, and solidarity to all oppressed people, and in the words of a wise man: “F**k capitalism; go home.”

Andrew: That’s an episode.

[Outro music]

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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 Four: Zag on ’em. Turn YOURSELF into a giant for a change. Pull crystals out of your hands. Do the unexpected.

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
KENKYUU SENTAI PODCAST RANGERS EPISODE FOUR: Zag on ’em. Turn YOURSELF into a giant for a change. Pull crystals out of your hands. Do the unexpected.
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Ethan: I am still embarrassed about it to- He’s dead! He died and I’m still embarrassed about it to this day. Miserable.

Nelson, distantly: Alright, you guys are good to go.

Andrew and Violet: Cool.

Ethan: Yeah, should we clap again?

Nelson: Sure. Yes, on three.

Ethan: No!

Violet: Wait, what?

Ethan: It’s not on three. It’s on zero coming down from three.

Nelson: Oh, so we’re counting down.

Ethan: Yes!

All: Three, two, one, clap!

[“It’s morphin time!” + intro music]

Andrew: All right, so we know how this episode starts.

Nelson: Yeah!

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

Andrew: Hey everybody, my name is Andrew. I also use he/him pronouns.

Ethan: Joining us again is our good friend and actual literal rock star Violet. Hey, Violet!

Violet: Hi, I’m Violet; I use she/her pronouns. I am apparently a literal rock star.

Ethan: I have watched you jump off stage in the middle of a guitar solo-

Andrew: Yeah, that’s true.

Ethan: -to an adoring crowd. Actual literal rock star.

Violet: Okay, this is gonna sound really dumb, but which time?

Ethan: Uh huh, thank you for making my point. Today we are recapping and discussing Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger episode 4 “Yomigaere Densestu no Buki, Reawaken, Legendary Weapons!” and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers season 1, episode 4, “A Pressing Engagement.” You can tell which title I think is cooler. Unless we have any housekeeping up front, let’s get into the recap!

[“Kyoryu Sentai… Zyuranger!!”]

“Reawaken! Legendary Weapons!” was written by Sugimora Noboru and directed by Ogasawara Takeshi. It starts with a recap of the previous episode, “Fight in the Land of Despair,” and then Dora Minotaur retreats and the Guardian Beasts eject the Rangers from the cockpits, as they must claim the weapons by their own power, so you can’t just take your Tyrannosaurus Zord right up to the castle, you got to actually hike up there.

Andrew: Okay, we talked about this a little bit in episode one [sic], but why the retreat?

Ethan: So Bandora is the one who calls out that the Land of Despair becomes freezing cold at night.

Andrew: Right.

Ethan: I think there may be something going on with the fact that the monsters are made of clay, maybe they can’t fight in freezing temperatures, but it’s not actually ever addressed. It’s- we’ll call this a Power Rangers moment.

Andrew: Sure. Also, how did the- how does the Zord get to the Land of Despair?

Ethan: I call that out in my notes like at least twice. They just show up! How did they get there? So the Rangers get there through Geki’s magical stasis door. They reopen it and instead of the sort of like void that the other Rangers were sleeping in, it’s a island floating in the middle of the abyss, and it’s like, hmm, so interesting cosmology. Geki, Dan, and Goushi break through an invisible wall after walking in circles for a while while Mei and Boi navigate a trick door. It’s- it’s a door with two knobs, and if you open one side, flames shoot out and if you open the other side you get teleported to your friends, so it’s really 50/50 chance, it’s not that big of a trick door.

Violet: Yeah, and you can close the door before the flames get you.

Ethan: Exactly, exactly. You just sort of come around on the side and then open it.

Violet: Really low stakes.

Ethan: The Rangers are reunited and make it into the castle where they must face a final test: a sword possessed by an evil spirit. Dan is the first one to touch it, but Geki is the one to draw it and release it, revealing the way to the legendary weapons. The makeup that they use in this portion is really cool, I think. Naturally the Bandora Gang is waiting for them and Bandora paralyzes the Rangers knowing that the clock has run down on them and they’re due to turn to statues at any moment. She’s right, and her plan almost works, but Geki calls out to the weapons, appealing to their sense of justice, and it actually works! The weapons awaken and loan the Rangers their power. Bandora is unhappy with this turn of events and makes herself giant, which shocked me, because I did not remember that for my initial watchthrough, and starts shaking the floating island like a magic 8 ball. The Rangers power through, transform, and then use their new weapons to form the Howling Cannon and blast Dora Minotaur to bits. Furious, Bandora decides to destroy the Land of Despair, but the Rangers escape just before she gets them, and with Hiroshi’s mother’s tears having restored Hiroshi to life, everybody gets away alive. But Bandora appears in a vision and makes sure to threaten the Rangers once again.

Andrew: And all children everywhere.

Ethan: Yeah, all she hates all children everywhere. I think there is a monologue bit in this episode, or the last one, where she’s just like, “I hate all children!” and Pleprichaun goes, “Why though?” and she’s like “Don’t ask me questions!” That’s important! That’ll come up again later. Impressions on this episode, my dear co-host and guest?

Andrew: I thought it was great.

Ethan: Yeah, it’s a good one.

Violet: It was good episode. I will say, jumping straight to the end: I know that we never get Hiroshi’s mom’s name. She’s only called Hiroshi’s mom, even by the Rangers. And then… I’m just saying she felt despair, and the stakes would have been way higher if they were just both statues at the end.

Ethan: Mhm.

Violet: And then they would be like, “We’re not afraid to kill children, and their mom!”

Ethan: The previous episode ends up with Hiroshi- like, we watched that kid die. He is, he is-

Violet: Yeah, but they like retconned it. So it’s like, no-

Ethan: Love of a mother, the mother’s tears, all that stuff.

Violet: No, she was crying. She was despairing. She’s also a statue.

Ethan: Yeah, no, you’re correct. You know, when they find her, she’s like laying in a room in the cave and it’s like how long has she been here?

Violet: Yeah, just 24 hours not apply to them because like-?

Andrew: She wasn’t questing for the sword.

Ethan: She wasn’t questing, she also appeared to have been passed out. So maybe-

Andrew: You have to be conscious?

Ethan: I don’t know, there’s-

Violet: Just a nap your way through.

Ethan: Interesting.

Andrew: One thing that I noticed in this episode, or one thing that stood out to me in this episode, was that the sequence with the evil sword was really reminiscent of a ton of Chinese films. It felt like a kung fu movie. I’m sure that there are also parallels in Japanese cinema, but I can’t recall one, where that sequence felt like something straight out of of Hong Kong circa, you know, 1970. Which is awesome! I want to make that clear, like anything that they can do to make Power Rangers or Super Sentai more like Hong Kong Kung Fu is aces in my book.

Ethan: You are going to love Dairanger.

Andrew: Which one’s that?

Ethan: That’s the next one.

Andrew: Okay, so so halfway through season two.

Ethan: I think the start of season two.

Andrew: Okay season two, cool.

Violet: Okay, so in three years, you can enjoy it.

Andrew: Three years!

Nelson, distantly: How many episodes are in season one?

Andrew: Sixty. [Note: Sixty episodes in s1 of MMPR, fifty of Zyuranger. 55 planned episodes in s1 of KSPR.]

Nelson: What?!

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, December of 25 is when we finish at the current rate. We’re gonna have to step it up! We’re gonna have to bring in more hosts!

Ethan: The one thing that I think stood out to me most in this episode is, how did they get that like gooey statue effect, like, what is that stuff? Like did they do like plastic wrap around the feet and then like some sort of putty compound on top of that? It looks really yucky.

Violet: It does look really yucky.

Ethan: It looks really really shiny and wet and looks uncomfortable and I would hate to touch it.

Andrew: Obviously we talked about this in the last episode, but the Minotaur is small for for this the entirety of this episode.

Ethan: Right, so I think he wouldn’t fit into the palace on the moon as a giant, and it’s probably like one of those like MMORPG buffs that disappears if you use fast travel, or something.

Andrew: But that is the reason that in the last episode of Power Rangers, we ended up with the Rangers suddenly teleporting back to a small Minotaur.

Ethan: Mhm, that’s exactly right. He shows up in the Land of Despair again, normal size, and they can take him on this time because all five of them are there, and they have their their legendary weapons, each of which has a name. It’s super cool. My favorite is Goushi’s Moth Breaker, that’s just sick. I love- we’ll get into this, you know, the further we get in the show, but I love watching that actor and his suit actor fight. That’s some of my favorite choreography in the show, is specifically Goushi and the Black Ranger, with just a big axe just absolutely wailing on people. It’s so good.

Andrew: An axe that’s also a gun.

Ethan: Yeah. He does a high kick in this episode, before transforming, that’s like… that thing went all the way up there. I think that covers it for Zyuranger; you want to get into the Rangers recap?

Andrew: Yeah, I can do the Rangers recap.

Ethan, musically: Rangers recap~.

Andrew: I took notes again.

[“It’s morphin’ time!” + theme music]

Ethan: What’s this episode called?

Andrew: This episode of Power Rangers called “A Pressing Engagement” and, I will say from the top, it was better than the last episode, but only by a little bit. Okay, this episode opens up in the gym/cafe where the Power Rangers always hang out.

Ethan: Angel Grove Youth Center and Juice Bar, or whatever.

Andrew: Gym and juice bar.

Ethan: Ernie’s joint.

Andrew: Gymnasium and juice bar. And this is just such a weird thing. Why is there a juice bar in the gym? And it’s like just right in the middle of the gym? It’s not like a separate room. Gyms stink!

Violet: They do stink.

Andrew: And this is a teenager gym! And so the Power Rangers are always just like playing with food and eating food in the middle of just the stinkiest- Anyway, Kimmy is doing gymnastics and Jason is bench pressing.

Ethan: Trying to set a record.

Andrew: He is trying to break some kind of record. When the episode opens, he’s around a thousand reps and Ernie loses count. This is played for laughs, but like this is the first time in the episode that Jason hits a thousand reps in his-

Ethan: He is, like, he is sweating. I mean, I don’t- I couldn’t tell from just what from watching how much weight he’s using here, but like and obviously it’s-

Andrew: It’s fake.

Ethan: It’s fake anyway, but like he is sweating.

Andrew: Yeah. So Rita, who is watching this because again, she just watches the Power Rangers as if they are a sitcom-

Ethan: Important to note: Rita’s telescope in Power Rangers has a crosshairs in it, but Bandora’s telescope in Zyuranger does not. So like, I don’t know what kind of gun culture obsession thing that is, but like I did notice that.

Andrew: Rita decides to have Jason fight Goldar one-on-one, in what might be the most foolish decision she’s made on the show so far, considering Jason’s performance to date. She’s like hey, let’s isolate the one of them who has the best chance of defeating Goldar and have Goldar fight him.

Violet: They couldn’t pick like Billy or something like that?

Ethan and Andrew: Right!

Andrew: They have established that Jason is not only the leader, but the strongest, and the only one whose Zord has been shown fighting on its own. He is the least appropriate choice. Anyway, Jason drops his barbell a few seconds before finishing his 1,010th rep, as the result of silly shenanigans between Kimmy and Zack. I believe that this is supposed to be the second set of a thousand, at this point, because they already lost count during the first set, so the implication is that he has done a thousand more reps.

Violet: I couldn’t tell: is this supposed to be the same day?

Andrew: I assume so.

Violet: Because that’s like two-

Ethan: I think it is, yeah. There are a lot of cuts in this first sort of portion of the show.

Andrew: This is supposed to be minutes later, the best I can tell, and they do this silly chewing gum thing, and it’s very bad.

Violet: Like even at bar weight that is so much to lift!

Andrew: Right! Zack apologizes to Jason. He then apologizes to Kimmy, really poorly, and Kimmy says, “Forget it; it’s casual,” which is how I’m going to respond to all apologies for the rest of my life. Jason is like really unreasonably obsessed with breaking this record in a way that seems really unhealthy and I’m worried for him.

Ethan: We find out also that it’s actually Bulk’s record.

Andrew: Yes. That is the next line in my recap, is that Bulk holds this record.

Ethan: This part, and then the sort of confrontation between Bulk and Jason where Jason tickles him- I mentioned this last episode, but this to me is some like, ‘we’ve known each other since we were six years old’ type s***. And like, if they were ever like, friends-friends, they’ve obviously grown apart as they’ve gotten older and like, I assume high school seniors. Of course, they all look 25, because they were. But like-

Andrew: And there’s this like vague implication that Bulk and Skull are older than, or at least Bulk is older than Jason, because otherwise, why would Bulk hold the record and not Jason?

Ethan: And we don’t ever see Bulk like ever bench pressing ever in the show, so it’s just sort of a fact that’s spoken into existence. But the dynamic here is interesting and I’m curious to see if more of the show supports like a past relationship between them. Because like if Jason and Bulk were friends in elementary school who grew apart and had wildly different paths so far in life, that adds a lot of weight to the show, I think.

Andrew: It also explains a little bit of his unnatural obsession with them and the way that they are so casually cruel to him. So there’s a fight, and there’s tickling, and Bulk tears his jeans revealing boxers with pigs on them.

Ethan: They’re huge. They’re like comically enormous boxers.

Andrew: This show is not subtle.

Ethan: No.

Andrew: Never. Not ever. Bulk then falls on his face while everyone laughs. Go figure. Jason is obsessed with proving that he can handle things for himself, in flagrant contradiction of the last episode. The last episode was literally called “Teamwork!” Kimmy, Zack, and Jason morph and teleport to a theater, where they engage in brief combat with Putties and a barely seen gooey black monster. At several points Jason is seen holding a gooey black monster. No explanation!

Ethan: So those are Captain Putties, or at least they’re they’re supposed to be. I forget the exact… the Japanese name, but they are like more durable, smarter type of Golem from Zyuranger, but you’re right, it’s given no…

Andrew: Yeah, he’s just there.

Ethan: Some Putties just look like that.

Andrew: And then there’s a sphinx. The sphinx then teleports and demorphs Kimberley and Zack back to the combo gym/lunch room. He just flaps his wings and they get turned back into normal people and teleported a long distance. That’s an incredibly powerful monster.

Ethan: Yes. Rolling back one second, Zordon says Rita wants to gain control of the park. … What is the point? Why would she bother? What- is it tactically situated next to City Hall or-? I mean, there’s- He states that she has a goal, but no motivation for the goal and it’s just very weird.

Andrew: I mean that’s Power Rangers.

Violet: Chaotic evil. I just want it because it’s there.

Andrew: But she never even says she wants it, Zordon does! So the Red Ranger engages in combat, and Alpha panics. I don’t know why Alpha panics, but Alpha panics. So far all we’ve seen the Sphinx do is teleport people away, so like at best the reason that Alpha is panicking is that the Sphinx might escape? But like the the villains always escape. The Red Ranger and the sphinx then suddenly teleport to another location and continue fighting. All the dialogue centers on Jason’s insecurities about doing things himself and suddenly Goldar is here! Rita throws her staff and says “Take that!” Again, rather than “Make my monster grow!” which again makes me sad. And now Goldar and the Sphinx grow to giant size. So now we’ve got Jason–small human Jason–fighting giant Goldar and Sphinx. Jason laments that the other Rangers are not present, but doesn’t contact them? In spite of the fact that he has a communicator, and doesn’t call his Zord in spite of the fact that we have demonstrated that his Zord is more than capable of taking on many monsters by itself. The others are now concerned with his well-being and teleport themselves to… What’s it called? Ranger center? Command Center?

Ethan: Well, they go to Billy’s lab first, which I guess is just like the garage at Billy’s house.

Andrew: Right, and this is the first time we’ve seen that.

Ethan: And it is so goofy looking in there, but I would have loved to like tour that set. I would have been all over everything. It’s kind of adorable.

Andrew: So they get they get teleported to the Command Center to watch Jason be attacked by the two giant monsters on the viewing orb. In spite of the fact that everybody says that they’re worried, they don’t do anything about it. They just stand there and watch it happen on the viewing orb and then-

Ethan: That is what they do.

Andrew: -Zordon says put your hands together and bring forth the Power Crystals. This bit is complete nonsense, makes no sense, has no continuity…

Ethan: It will make sense in the next episode of Zyuranger, episode 6.

Andrew: I’m sure.

Ethan: But this is another instance where the the pacing issues that we’ve been discussing have really, really, really done harm to Power Rangers as a show.

Andrew: So Alpha is gonna take these crystals and send them over the Morph Grid or whatever it’s called. It’s nonsense. It makes no sense. It does however make Jason’s sword collapse a mountain and that’s neat.

Ethan: It’s pretty sick.

Andrew: Jason then goes and receives the Crystals which he has no reason to no exist, at great personal risk.

Ethan: He instantly knows what they are and what to do with them, despite the fact that the other four Rangers only just now found out from Zordon that: One, Power Crystals exist; Two, they are a tool for you to use; And three, you already have access to them, seconds before this happens, and Jason’s just like, “Oh, yeah, bag of Power Crystals, I gotchu.”

Andrew: And for some reason, not only does he know what the crystals are, but he can use them to summon the other Rangers, so he does. Again, it’s it’s patent nonsense. I’m sure it will be explained when we get to that Zyuranger episode, but but I haven’t seen that Zyuranger episode yet, and so it’s just nonsense.

Ethan: Yeah, it makes less than no sense. It’s actively confusing.

Andrew: Kimmy makes another pun while they’re forming the Zord

Ethan: “Jinx the sphinx!” I wrote that one down because, oh my god.

Andrew: And like I said, I’m assuming that this becomes a thing. I know in some subsequent episodes, she at least strays from puns and moves more towards Valley Girl stuff, but everybody else’s thing that they say when they get in the Zord makes sense, and Kimmy’s is always something to make her seem unintelligent, and and I don’t love that.

Ethan: I don’t even think it’s that. You’re right to point it out as like, at odds with her character because puns can be very difficult and tricky to come up with, so she’s like doing some weird literary s***, and like thinking of rhymes and things beforehand, which doesn’t fit with what we’ve seen of her character. But I do love the idea of like secret literature nerd Kimberly.

Andrew: Sure!

Violet: I’m here for it. I’m here for secret literature nerd Kimberly, cuz like, the idea of just acting dumb for fun is a great idea.

Andrew: Sure. Lady Moonbeam does a great job of that.

Violet: Lady Moonbeam. She’s Dr. Lady Moonbeam.

Andrew: Dr. Lady Moonbeam.

Ethan: I don’t… believe that.

Andrew: I mean, she she tells everybody she’s doctor lady-.

Ethan: I don’t doubt that she tells everyone that.

Andrew: Lady Moonbeam is Violet’s character on Jupiter’s Ghost, which is an entirely different thing that we won’t talk about today. So the Power Rangers, they board the Zords, and then they take these crystals, which again came out of their own bodies, and they shove them into some kind of receptacle within the Zords. They know how to do this for some reason. They know that this is possible, this is gonna power up the Zords, apparently. They then stay in vehicle mode, rather than going full stand up Megazord mode, and use the Crystal Cannon, which again, they just suddenly know exists for some reason. This fails and produces the only tension this episode has. There is a very brief moment of tension in this episode for the first time here. But then they transform into the real Megazord and they have a great battle. It really is a wonderful battle, aside from the inexplicable switch back to tank mode in the middle that lasts for like half a second-

Ethan: I thought that was a good bit, but it’s weird pacing.

Andrew: It is, it’s a weird pacing thing, but aside from that the battle is fantastic. Having the two monsters fighting against the Megazord is just a great thing to see, and then at the end of this, again for reasons that are never fully explained, they know that they have a new sword, so they summon the new sword for the Megazord and that’s also sick as f***. Goldar escapes, Rita throws a tantrum, and then we’re back at the gym/cafe where Jason does his third set of a thousand reps of the day. And then there’s cake.

Violet: And then there’s cake!

Andrew: Bulk and Skull show up, it goes exactly as expected, by which I mean Bulk ends up face down in the cake.

Ethan: I have a note of: “the dorks are about to ruin that cake. …Yep.”

Andrew: And it’s becoming frustrating how often the way that they deal with Bulk is by putting his face into food.

Ethan: Oh, yeah. No, it’s deeply, deeply fatphobic. We’ll probably dig into that actor’s experience. Paul Schrier, maybe is the guy? And see if we can dig up some commentary or something, but yeah, I would have been deeply unhappy in his role.

Andrew: And it just continues!

Ethan: It does not stop.

Andrew: And then that’s the episode.

Violet: Yeah, and I would like to point out that Jason only beat Bulk’s record by one, and they’re acting like Bulk can never ever do that.

Andrew: Okay so, to be fair, Jason beat Bulk’s record by 2001.

Violet: Okay, fair.

Andrew: Because he did two other sets of a thousand reps on the same day. The whole thing is absurd.

Violet: It is absurd.

Ethan: He was able to do that because everybody was there cheering him on, which is sort of supposed to be the point But like we just made this point last episode. We’re like, yeah, we’re stronger together…

Andrew: And then this whole episode is about how he has to do this by himself.

Ethan: It’s just- it’s silly, and the pacing really suffers from the Sabanization… deal. There are times when it works well, and this is not one of those times.

Andrew: Agreed wholeheartedly. Up to this point, everything about Zyuranger has been more enjoyable than Power Rangers.

Ethan: Yeah, I mean it’s because, you know, with Zyuranger being the 16th installment, like they have their process down.

Andrew: They had it down, yeah.

Ethan: There’s none of this like, stumbling awkwardness. They have a whole story written. They have, you know, character arcs for everyone. Power Rangers is just not at that point yet.

Andrew: And we’ll get to this a little more when we get into the research section, but the way that they were making this show was incredibly haphazard. The people who were driving the bus on which clips made it into the show were working with perverse motivation. They were not trying to tell a story; they were not really even trying to adapt this for an American audience; they were trying to sell toys. That is- more than anything else. The reason the show was brought to the US was to sell toys, and it was largely representatives of the toy company that made the- of Bandai that made the decision as to which mech footage and which monster footage made it into the shows, based on how quickly they could get toys to market.

Ethan: Yeah. Gundam fans will be intimately familiar with this sort of interference. From… not outside interests, I would say but like-

Andrew: Competing interests.

Ethan: Competing interests. So what is our research topic for today?

Andrew: So today I’m gonna be doing a research topic on Bandai, on the toys. And I started just on Bandai, but as I started doing my reading and my research I ended up expanding out into Bandai, Disney, and Hasbro. And so we’ll talk a little bit about why, but but first and foremost: Bandai. It was the company that was producing the toys for Super Sentai.

Ethan: Okay, so Bandai is a- is it a multinational corporation? And has American and Japanese divisions, or-?

Andrew: Yes.

Ethan: Okay. That’s something I was curious about.

Andrew: Yeah, and and and we’ll get there, but Bandai Japan was contracted to produce the the toys for Super Sentai very early on, towards the very beginning of the Sentai process and they became a vital part and partner in Super Sentai. In fact, a lot of the the models that are used on show end up being just things that Bandai made, or that that models that Bandai produced. So toys are a vital part of the Power Rangers franchise, but I’m not sure it’s it’s obvious how vital. Power Rangers would not exist in the US without the Power Rangers toys. Just straight up. It would not be here. If you’re a fan of 80s animation, you’ll be familiar with the idea of producing a television show to sell toys.

Ethan: Again, Gundam fans will yeah be intimately familiar with this sort of method.

Andrew: Well, I mean the idea kind of reached its peak in the 80s with with He-Man. Throughout the 80s, the idea of producing a television show to sell toys reached its peak with shows like Thundercats, He-Man, and G.I. Joe. These were based around the toy lines.

[“Look, G.I. Joe Transformers Thundercats He-Man! Yay, those shows existed!”]

Andrew: I think He-Man is kind of the quintessential example of this. They made a toy, and with He-Man in particular, Mattel went to Toys R Us and they said “Hey, we’ve got this great new toy line. Check it out. How cool is this? It’s been focused testing really well. We think we can sell this.” And Toys R Us said, “You can’t just sell a toy” And Mattel said, “Oh, well, no, no, of course not. There’s not just a toy, there’s a comic book!” Toys R Us was like, “Fine, there’s a comic book, maybe.” And so they started placing their orders, and and they were doing the mini comics, and eventually they actually did a Marvel comic series, and this was a very dark kind of mature He-Man. And then another toy company, I don’t remember what it was called, but another major toy company, the big competitor to Toys R Us in the 80s, was like, “We’re not gonna carry this without a cartoon.” And so Mattel produced a cartoon based on the He-Man toys, and the toys were just based on whatever crap they had lying around. They recycled molds from toys that they hadn’t produced in 20 years, and this worked. And it worked really well and it kicked off a frenzy. It’s it’s how you end up with Transformers. It’s it’s how you end up with with large parts of the Gundam franchise making in the US. It’s where we get Thundercats. It’s where we get GI Joe, and frankly-

Ethan: Like Ninja Turtles, X-Men…

Andrew: Ninja Turtles and X-Men are kind of an interesting case because neither one of them came directly from the toys. But the toys were developed in concert with the TV shows. But Power Rangers, you might assume with its mixed up transnational heritage, would be immune to this kind of toy based marketing scheme, but that that’s just wrong. Power Rangers was brought to the US not only by Haim Saban, but but also by Bandai of America. Bandai and and Saban worked together to create the chimera that is Power Rangers. Bandai of Japan was founded in the wake of the Second World War; they drove the popularity of many Japanese brands in the US, and one of their their big successes, relatively early on, was Ultraman, another tokusatsu series. They’d done a ton of stuff leading up to that, but the stuff leading up to that was small, and and Ultraman was the first time that they brought in a big property, and it worked, and it worked really well, and eventually they they decided to double down. They were producing the Japanese toys for Sentai and, with minor modifications, they produced their American counterparts throughout the 90s and 2000s. But the relationship with the show is way deeper than just producing the toys. Bandai worked with Saban to localize Power Rangers. They selected which Sentai shots to use and occasionally supplied models and other materials sourced from their toy molds to appear on screen when the Japanese mask footage was insufficient. So if they do a reshoot, if there’s a shot that that appears in the US show that features one of the things from the Japanese footage, but is not using the Japanese footage, it’s almost certainly shot using something that that Bandai provided. Bandai was in many ways the beating heart of Power Rangers. Saban gets the credit, but Bandai was the real steward of the franchise. They produced toys for every hero, every villain, every monster, every Zord, and most of the accessories that you see on the screen. Bandai, and particularly Bandai of America, served as caretakers of the Power Rangers and Super Sentai legacy and the quality of their products was remarkable. We talked about this a little bit in episode one or episode two, but like the Japanese toys were made to an astounding level of quality. They featured these metal die-cast parts and when they were brought into the US, they were often remade in plastic. Replacing these metal parts with plastic was obviously in part a cost-cutting measure, but it wasn’t wholly a cost-cutting measure, and I found that to be really interesting. It was also necessary in order to please the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission found that many of the unmodified Japanese toys didn’t meet their standards and would be considered unsafe in the US. Now-

Ethan: Interesting.

Andrew: Bandai had not had this problem early on when they were bringing stuff in for a couple of reasons, the biggest one being that they were largely bringing in vinyl toys. Ultraman toys were big hollow blowmold vinyl toys, like the stuff on the shelf, you know, this kind of thing. They were thin-walled cheap plastic and they were not especially dangerous, but they did also bring in metal toys and and things with action and things that shot, and the US Consumer Protection Safety Commission was largely a toothless organization throughout most of the 1970s, and this part of the story is sad.

Ethan: I mean, this is like peak leaded gasoline years.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Ethan: So like things are not going great. I mean you got the Ohio River just catching on fire in Cincinnati, and all kind of crazy stuff going on.

Andrew: So before we get back to the toys, we have to do a brief aside about the never-released rocket-firing Boba Fett.

Ethan: Okay, again a direction I did not expect to turn, but I’m interested. I’m intrigued.

Andrew: As many of you are likely aware, in the wake of the success of the Star Wars movies, Star Wars toys were a hot commodity, and Kenner promised to release a rocket-firing Boba Fett. If you sent away enough stamps or proof of purchases, you got your rocket-firing Boba Fett. This was supposed to come out in early 1979. In December of 1978, a child died.

Ethan: Oh, no.

Andrew: It happened very near here, actually. It was in Canton, Georgia.

Ethan: No kidding.

Andrew: I think it was Canton. It was in the metro Atlanta area. The kid died from complications due to injury sustained from a Battlestar Galactica rocket-firing Viper. I’ve got the Viper around here somewhere and I’ve got- not the one that killed the kid! I’ve got that toy around here somewhere, and I’ve got replica rockets for it, because most of them were sold with the rocket glued in. After this event, Mattel started gluing the rocket into place.

Ethan: I mean, are we talking about like an incredibly powerful spring or what actually happened?

Andrew: It was a fairly powerful spring, but not an unreasonably powerful spring. But it was a small rocket and- only about half an inch, maybe an inch long, and the thing got wedged in the kid’s throat. He shot it into his open mouth, and because somebody had died, the CPSC got involved. And they were able to use this to champion funding for the CPSC. For the first time, they were actively taking a role in policing the safety of children’s toys. The most immediate direct result of that more active role was that Boba Fett lost his ability to fire his rocket. It was advertised as “we’re going to have this rocket firing Boba Fett!” and it was basically going to be the exact same mechanism from the Viper, and then it was not. And so Boba Fett was launched without a rocket firing option. Later on, they changed branding standards and how toy packages had to be labeled, and they introduced some new mechanisms through which you could have things that that launched, and one of the mechanisms was- or one of the ways that you could get away with this was by having a weaker spring. One of the ways that you could get away with this was by having the missile be of a specific size that couldn’t be lodged in a throat.

Ethan: That makes sense.

Andrew: But as a result of rocket firing Boba Fett and the the Battlestar Galactica missile, we get the the Consumer Protection board being much more involved in certifying toys for importing to the US. This is the reason that many new Power Rangers, and other collectibles, but we’re talking about Power Rangers here, when you find them on the shelves, you’re gonna see them marked 14+ or 18+, and it’s not because they’re particularly unsafe in any given case. It’s because now if you want to release a toy to children in the US, you have to get it tested, and you might have to retool it after that testing, if you fail the testing. And a lot of companies, especially the ones who are producing the more expensive collectibles, don’t bother doing that and instead just release the thing for adults. As a result of all of this, we end up with different versions of the the Power Rangers toys coming into the US, because we had different standards for safety. We couldn’t have the big heavy metallic toys because that’s a bludgeoning hazard. And that’s really what it came down to. Some of them could, under certain circumstances, be made to be sharp if they were mishandled, and the US took an active role in ensuring children’s safety in this particular small regard, in a way that that has never really been necessary in Japan.

Ethan: Interesting! Yeah, I never knew about any of that. The difference in the toys is astonishing. I didn’t buy it, because it was way too much money, but I found at one point a White Tigerzord, a Japanese release White Tigerzord, in a shop. And I had two of the American release ones, when I was a kid. I don’t remember why that was, but just holding it was like, several ounces heavier and the plastic was like glossy, with a beautiful finish on it. And it was like just a nice off-white with like gray specks in it. I mean it was like, choice, just sort of touching it and holding it.

Andrew: And in spite of the fact that the American toys were lower quality than their Japanese counterparts, they were still good toys.

Violet and Ethan: Yeah.

Andrew: And modern Power Rangers toys just aren’t. And I wanted to find out why. So that is where I started this research, was to try and find out why and it led me to through the Consumer Protection Bureau, but it led me down another weird rabbit hole: in 2001, Saban sold Power Rangers to Disney. And Bandai remained involved, Bandai was still the the people producing all of the toys, they were still doing a lot of the localization work. This was still a very toy marketing driven effort. Disney planned to cancel Power Rangers in 2008, but their contract with Bandai prevented them from doing it.

Ethan: That tracks.

Andrew: And so Bandai held up- had Power Rangers continue through 2009. And then Bandai got together with Saban, and in 2010, Saban purchased Power Rangers back from Disney, using a Lot of support from Bandai. Bandai remained involved in working with Saban for the next eight years, 2010 to 2018, and in 2018 Saban announced that Bandai would no longer produce Power Rangers toys. Three months after Saban announced that Bandai would no longer produce Power Rangers toys, Saban suddenly doesn’t have the money to make Power Rangers anymore.

Ethan: Weird.

Andrew: Uh-huh. And so Hasbro purchases the rights to produce Power Rangers. And so Saban is no longer involved. Hasbro purchased the Power Rangers franchise completely, and they do all of the localization work. They shoot all of the American footage. It’s entirely a Hasbro production, and they also release all the toys and Hasbro’s toys are of lower quality than Bandai’s toys were.

Ethan: And not just lower quality materials. Like they have less articulation, they’re less visually interesting. I mean, you don’t see a Megazord like you used to see.

Andrew: No, they do all the pieces of each individual Zord or they just do the Megazord. The Megazord is smaller. They don’t do every villain, they just do the big ones. It’s a really weird- and the actual play stuff the kid-sized-

Ethan: Accessories, morphersm, and swords, and whatnot.

Andrew: -is basically non-existent now. And then as Violet pointed out, they’ve got the Imaginext stuff. Their line for toddlers. And the Imaginext toys are where most of their energy and efforts going because it sells to six-year-olds, and that’s what all of this is really about.

Violet: I think they have a Megazord out, at least in the last couple of years, but it is much much smaller than even the 2010 Megazord.

Andrew: And they do a big Megazord… for the Imaginext line, with a goofy, I mean the whole thing is just-

Ethan: Your mother buys you MegaBlox instead of Legos.

(Nelson groans audibly.)

Andrew: Yes, except that what we have here is less “your mother buys you MegaBlox instead of Legos” and more “MegaBlox buys Legos and destroys Legos.”

Ethan: Yeah! That wasn’t ever in a Vine, but yeah.

Violet: No, that makes a lot of sense and like I know a lot about the Child Protection Consumer… through Transformers. Once again, that’s where I come- my background for a lot of this. And the difference between the Takara/Tomy toys versus the Hasbro toys? It’s huge! Even to this day, it’s just gotten to the point where even if there’s no additional metal being put in, they just put in more effort in the Japanese-released Takara/Tomy toys than they do in the Hasbro toys.

Andrew: Oh, totally. And I don’t want to speak ill of Hasbro, because I don’t want to get sued.

Ethan: Fingers crossed, listeners. Pray for us.

Ethan: Hasbro has released a lot of really interesting figures and they’ve been a very innovative company in the history of toy production. But if you go watch a show like “The Toys That Made Us” that occasionally touches on the role that Hasbro actually plays, they’re a behemoth. They consume. They are largely the equivalent of Disney. They own…

Ethan: Wizards of the Coast.

Andrew: Wizards of the- exactly. They own Wizards at this point, and Wizards makes most of their money! And they continue to mishandle these properties that they own, because Bandai did a good job with the Power Rangers toys out of respect for this thing that they had built. And Hasbro milks them for everything that they’re worth, while releasing the worst product that they can, because they know they can get away with it.

Ethan: I mean, it’s your classic sort of rent-seeking, profit-maximizing American corporate behavior. That’s just standard practice. It’s- and of course the consumer loses out. I watched a video, just because I’m a normal person, of like every main mecha in the Sentai series, and some of them I had never seen before, because like there’s a significant portion of like US-released Power Rangers that I just missed. There were several that I know I had and don’t have anymore, so that’s a question I’ll ask of my mom sometime, and some of them are incredible. The one that sticks out to me is the one from Magiranger, which is- it’s five individual humanoid mechs that have these like- they’re sort of cool, swirly, sort of organic-shaped. They combine into a giant dragon, which can then also transform into a giant humanoid mech, and I mean my jaw hit the floor watching that one. And some of them are less interesting. There’s one that’s like all the Zords are cubes that then morph into a like a elephant or a lion, and then the lion and elephant combine to- you know, some of them are less interesting than others.

Andrew: We’ve got that gorilla around here somewhere.

Ethan: That’s at the antique mall. Yeah, it’s a gorilla that turns into legs. But looking at those- at the more recent ones, you know post-2010 ones compared to what I’ve like seen on the shelf at Walmart and it is like night and day. They’re not good.

Andrew: Yeah, so that’s that’s what I got. Bandai was a pivotal player in the formation of and the release of and the stewardship of Power Rangers. And if you’ve noticed a drop-off in quality and Power Rangers- I haven’t, because I’m rewatching it now for the first time, but if Power Rangers has changed in quality from 2001 to 2010: well, that’s cause Disney owned it, and if it changes in quality from 2010 to 2018: it was back in Saban’s hands, and if post-2018, Power Rangers is getting worse: I would not be surprised, because Hasbro has a tendency to kill everything they touch.

Ethan: Yep, it sucks when any type of corporation does this, but when it’s like a show made for children to enjoy, at least in part, you know, it’s- everything is a toy commercial, that’s made for kids, essentially, but like also there are people who put their life into making that so that it will make a child happy, and when the when the frickin’ McKinsey Institute graduates get their horrible withered hands on it, and just like slurp all the life out of it so that they can get another ten cents on their annual dividends… it’s really- it sucks.

Andrew: It’s almost like we’re living in a dying society.

Ethan: Mhm, mhm.

Violet and Andrew: So on that happy note…

Ethan: Do we have any other material for the show? Or are we ready to get out of here?

Andrew: Is there anything you want to say about this episode, Violet?

Violet: Uhh… I’ve already forgotten the episode, I’m so focused on toys.

Ethan: Do you have like any strong memories of of any Power Rangers toys that you had?

Violet: So… absolutely. I had a costume of the Red Ranger, then a costume of the White Ranger, and I had a three-foot-tall White Ranger toy.

Andrew: I forgot about that! Yes! I had, I had-

Ethan: Was it a stuffy?

Violet and Andrew: No!

Andrew: No, They were hard plastic.

Violet: Hard plastic, with like poseable arms and legs…

Ethan: How did they get that past the Consumer Protection people?

Violet: Because they were like vacuum-formed.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean they were- they didn’t weigh much, but they were plastic. Oh, God, I think I had the Blue Ranger? I forgot about that completely.

Violet: Yeah, I’ve got the White Ranger somewhere, but he’s missing all of his clothes?

Ethan: Some part of that does not surprise me at all.

Andrew: Yeah, no those were those were sick. The Power Rangers toys that I remember most vividly are the Power Rangers Ninja McDonald’s Happy Meal toys.

Violet: Okay!

Ethan: Interesting pull.

Andrew: They were about two and a half, maybe three inches tall. Super limited articulation, just you know, big five, made like classic Kenner Star Wars or something like that. And they had little sit-in Zords.

Ethan and Violet: Oh! Yeah!

Andrew: And during that same- this was for the the movie-

Ethan: Movie promo, for sure.

Andrew: During that same campaign, they they also did all the Morphin’ Coins, and you could get those through some kind of promotion at McDonald’s, and like- I’m assuming it was McDonald’s, it might have been Burger King. I don’t-

Ethan: Pretty sure it was McDonald’s.

Andrew: But those are the Power Rangers toys that I remember most vividly. I had the flippy-head guys and I had the big, tall, shiny guys and I had the big, tall, not shiny… I had a ton of Power Rangers toys. I loved Power Rangers toys. But the ones that I remember most vividly are the McDonald’s toys, because I was not afraid of just beating the absolute hell out of those, you know? I would put those through things because they’re McDonald’s toys, they don’t matter. I would put my Happy Meal toys-

Ethan: Yeah, the Zords are literally like just two clamshell pieces screwed together. I mean, you can’t hurt them.

Andrew: But I would put that through things that I would have never dared put my nicer Power Rangers toys through, because I was afraid of breaking those, you know? So yeah, I would wrap a plastic bag around- stick some string in a plastic bag and tie it to the thing’s waist and throw it off a roof. You know, parachute Power Rangers?

Violet: Parachute Power Rangers!

Andrew: And then as it’s floating down, shoot at it with a BB gun and… you know! I was not a good shot because I didn’t have my glasses yet, so I couldn’t see anything, so I would miss wildly, but you know, it was a good time.

Ethan: My outstanding memory is an ungodly amount of envy that like a five-year-old should not be able to summon, because I knew two kids who had all the Power Rangers toys: my mom’s boss’s kid, and one of the quote-unquote big kids from my babysitter’s, who can’t have been more than three or four years older than me. But you know when you’re five and they’re nine or ten, that seems like a huge gap. They both had all of them. They had all the Megazords, they had all of the weapons that combined, everything. And I just- I wanted all of it, and you know, we- I didn’t get most of them. I had a- on my Christmas list from probably 1993 or 4 to 1999, every year, was an original Megazord, and I did not get one until probably my 27th or 28th birthday, when Andrew gave me one for a birthday gift, which is now on display at my house. And I just remember thinking how cool all the stuff was, you know, the morphers, and there’s like a one-shoulder cannon that I think is originally from Dairanger, that shot like two-inch ping-pong balls, I mean, it was a beast.

Andrew: Can’t choke on those.

Ethan: No, you sure can’t and then like the Power Rangers game on Super Nintendo… We never owned a Super Nintendo.

Andrew: Did you ever play the one on the Sega Genesis?

Ethan: No, we didn’t have a Genesis either.

Andrew: Okay, so have you played either of the the 16-bit Power Rangers games?

Violet: Didn’t the Genesis one get ported to Game Gear?

Andrew: Maybe?

Violet: If it did, I played that.

Andrew: It was a 2d fighter.

Violet: Yeah…

Andrew: So the Super Nintendo one was like a standard like side-scrolling adventure game.

Ethan: Yeah, very Ninja Turtles-y.

Andrew: But the the Sega Genesis one was just a straight-up like Street-Fighter-style fighter.

Ethan: Oh, interesting.

Violet: Okay, maybe not, but…

Andrew: Okay, so I know what we’re doing for our next special episode. I’m gonna go find that game and we’re going to hook up all the equipment that we need to so that we can do a screencap of that.

Violet: Yes!

Ethan: Yeah, like tournament style? Sure.

Andrew: Yeah, bring Nelson and Ryan into it.

Ethan: I think the Super Nintendo one- my strongest memory of that is Billy’s fighting style, pre-transformation, is that he holds one hand up to his glasses and sort of flails with the other- [Ethan knocks over a bunch of figures and stuff]

Andrew and Violet: Man down! Man down!

Andrew: All right, I think that’s our episode.

Violet: I think it is.

Ethan: I gotta be careful. All right, on that note, we’ll be back next time to discuss episode five of Zyuranger, “Kowai Nazo Nazo,” which is “Scary Riddles,” and Power Rangers, “Different Drum.” If you’ve enjoyed this episode, 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 @KenkyuuSentaiPodcastRangers@Meet.CommunityMedia.Network. Andrew, how can people get in touch and what should they look out for?

Andrew: You can find me online at AndrewRoach.net. I’m doing a bunch of things, but most recent to this episode being released, we should have just released another episode of Jupiter’s Ghost. This is a Creative-Commons-licensed, collaborative, crowd-sourced podcast about the crew of a space-faring vessel in the distant future. Think Starfleet, but without the monopoly of violence.

Ethan: Yeah, Violet and I are both on that show. It’s really fun to make and we like a lot.

Andrew: It’s a blast. You can find Jupiter’s Ghost online at Intergalactic.Computer.

Ethan: Just a great URL. And Violet, what do you want to shout out today?

Violet: I’ll shout out… I shouted out several things last episode, but Dr. Deathray is my band, also Hurly-Burly and The Volcanic Fallout is my band.

Andrew: You’re bopping your head to Hurly-Burly right now.

Violet: Beh-beh-b’behbeh~, something like that. But yeah, I do those things you can follow me on the Fediverse @DoctorDeathray@Retro.Social, or on Instagram at Doctor.Deathray.

Ethan: Okay, yeah.

Andrew: Thanks, folks.

Violet: Thank you.

Ethan: That’s all the show we have for you today. Thank you so much for listening and thanks again to Hurly-Burly and The Volcanic Fallout for the use of their song “Colossal Might-”

Violet: You’re welcome.

Ethan: “-(Totally Radical Instrumental Version)”–hey, we got that on record, we’re welcome–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 EllijayMakerspace.org, and you can learn more about the Cherokee people by visiting Cherokee.org. Strength, love, and solidarity to all oppressed people, and in the words of a wise man, “F*** capitalism; go home.”

Andrew: Amen.

[Outro music]

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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 Three Worf Jabroni Revelation

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
KENKYUU SENTAI PODCAST RANGERS EPISODE THREE: Worf Jabroni Revelation
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[“It’s Morphin’ Time!”]

Nelson, distantly: Minna-san, yokoso!

Ethan: Okay, three, two, one, clap. [Andrew and Violet clap.] That was good. I’m not even going to bother with that one. Y’all got it.

[“It’s morphing time!”+ intro music]

Ethan: Minna-san, yokoso! Welcome to your favorite cross-cultural deep dive analysis and recap podcast, Kenkyuu Sentai Podcast Rangers. My name is-

Andrew: It is my favorite.

Violet: It’s mine too.

Ethan: My name is Ethan, I use he/him pronouns, and with me is my usual co-host, Andrew.

Andrew: Hi!

Ethan: We are also joined today by our friend and local hometown rockstar, Violet. Hi, Vi, introduce yourself.

Violet: Hi, I am Violet, I use she/her pronouns, I watch Power Rangers, and I am Doctor Deathray, look up AnalogRevolution.com.

Ethan: We’ll get to the plugs.

Violet: Okay, we’re going to start with the plugs before we lose them.

Ethan: So we did do that last time, Nelson did plug everything ahead of time and had nothing to say at the end of the show, so.

Andrew: Violet wrote our theme song, which you have just been enjoying.

Ethan: “Colossal Might (which is very fitting) totally radical instrumental version”, it kicks so much ass and we’re so grateful to have it.

Violet: I had to do some two-finger tapping, it was very fun.

Ethan: I remember you like, just picked it up out of nowhere basically and like, were fiddling with that recording as I was walking out a few weeks ago, and I was like, “is this gonna be…?” and then it was.

Violet: Yeah, and then it was!

Andrew: And then it was.

Ethan: Today we are recapping and discussing Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger Episode 3, “Ikusa e Zetsubou no Daichi (Fight in the Land of Despair)” [TRANSCRIPTION NOTE: This title reading is incorrect. The episode is actually titled “Tatakae Zetsubou no Daichi.” This is not the first or only title listed incorrectly on the various wikis and other resources, and we will continue to try and catch these errors before publishing. We appreciate your patience and grace.], and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 1 Episode 3, “Teamwork.” Without further ado, unless we have further ado, we’ll get into the recap.

Andrew: Recaps!

Ethan: All right.

[“Kyoryu Sentai… Zyuranger!!”]

Ethan: “Fight in the Land of Despair” was written by Sugimura Noboru, and directed by Ogasawara Takeshi. It begins with the Zyuangers sparring and practicing in a park somewhere, but they are just too strong and keep breaking their weapons, which to be fair are also 170 million years old. Dora Skelton broke all their other weapons that they like brought out of their magical stasis, so they are just fighting bare-handed, which is not great. But Goushi has the solution: back in the dinosaur times, a five-headed dragon was killed, and within its body were found five legendary weapons, which totally coincidentally line up with each of our heroes’ signature fighting styles. The Rangers confer with Barza, and he confirms that the legendary weapons remain in the underworld’s Land of Despair, but are nearly impossible to get, because if one gives in to sadness or spends more than one full day there, they will turn to stone. Bandora, of course, knows about all of this, and her plan is basically to stress out and distract the Rangers long enough that they are claimed by the Land of Despair. She herself can’t claim the weapons, but she only needs to prevent the Rangers from doing so.

Andrew: So Barza has normal ears. Barza has normal ears for the entire episode.

Ethan: For the rest of the show.

Andrew: Barza’s weird ear still bothers me. I had a dream. I had a dream that there was just an old man sweeping a sidewalk, and he turns his head, and he’s got Barza’s giant ear. It is haunting me.

Ethan: Yeah, it’s like very fleshy and like protrudes a great deal.

Andrew: Anyway.

Ethan: Yeah, so Bandora kidnaps a boy called Hiroshi, as well as his mother, who live in the Sakura Condominium building to use as hostages against the Rangers, and she also commissions a new monster from Pleprichaun. In the Land of Despair, the Rangers split up. Geki, Dan, and Goushi plan to reach the castle as quickly as possible, while Boi and Mei go to search for Hiroshi. Dora Minotaur attacks Geki’s group, while Golems attack Mei and Boi, and they all fight as best they can with no weapons, but are outmatched even after transforming. Then Bandora uses her evil magic to make Dora Minotaur a giant, which is the first time we see Bandora do this in Zyuranger, and the Rangers must call on their Guardian Beasts to fight. They give him a run for his money, but ultimately Bandora calls a retreat, as the Land of Despair becomes freezing at night. Meanwhile, despite being rescued by Mei and Boi, Hiroshi can’t stop worrying about his mom, and the sadness in his heart causes him to become a statue, and that’s the end of the episode. Kind of a bummer. There were a few crazy things that happened in this one, and one of them I made a note of… The Minotaur acts like a landshark when it first shows up-

Violet: Yeah!

Ethan: -and it’s sort of zooming around underground. It also breathes fire. Oh, the cool thing that the Rangers did was use their Dino Bucklers as brass knuckles.

Violet: Yeah, no, that was sick!

Ethan: They use it as an offensive and defensive weapon, which makes sense. If you have a magical item that is plot-critical and is not going to break unlike your ancient weapons, like, yeah, just f*** beat somebody with it.

Andrew: Did we have all the zords in this one?

Ethan: All the zords were in this one.

Andrew: And this is the first time that we see all the zords, because in the last one, we just had the dino- or the…

Ethan: The Tyrannozord.

Andrew: Tyrannozord, yeah.

Ethan: Guardian Beast Tyrannosaurus.

Violet: Which was so sick to see all of the zords come flying in and just-

Ethan and Andrew: Yeah!

Violet: Yeah, no, here for it.

Ethan: This is one of the big differences in the pacing between these two shows…

Andrew: Yeah.

Ethan: Is that it’s kind of a slow burn. The Rangers don’t immediately have their zords; they don’t immediately have their weapons; they don’t make a Megazord right away. You get to see these incremental things sort of build. And this is true of a lot of Sentai shows.

Violet: Yeah.

Ethan: Whereas the American versions sort of spoil the whole game, go straight to the top.

Andrew: We talked about this a little bit in the last episode. Power Rangers go swinging out of the gate hard with the Megazord in the first episode. But in the episode that we watched today, or that we’re talking about today, and the next one that we’ll talk about, they do start introducing some of these things that kind of get filtered in from the Japanese show. But they did, they started with the big reveal. Hey, we’re going to go Megazord first. And then we’ll sprinkle in all the other details.

Ethan: And as we’ll see in the next few episodes, it really throws the pacing off. So like there’s like a loose correspondence between which monsters are in which episodes, and like they obviously have to fit the plot of Power Rangers to the mask footage that they’re importing somehow with the absolute buckwild pacing shift from episode one… it’s taking them a while to figure things out.

Andrew: And I remember it working better, so I have to assume that it starts working better eventually. But right now it’s not working well.

Violet: No, it’s very much like go as fast as you can in Power Rangers. And it’s almost shocking to me that they, in Power Rangers, and we’ll get to this, that they don’t have the Power Weapons yet.

Andrew: Right, right!

Violet: Like they start with Megazord and then it’s like, oh yeah, by the way, you probably need these too.

Andrew: But they’ve got guns.

Violet: They’ve got guns.

Ethan: Yeah, they’ve got the Ranger Blaster, Ranger Swords. I want one of those so bad. I remember- I think ThinkGeek is dead now…

Andrew: Yeah.

Ethan: But ThinkGeek at one point had a physical store at Town Center Mall in Kennesaw. And it was packed out of incredibly well-made Power Rangers merch. And I just didn’t have money for any of it, of course. But I’m just like, I’m still slavering.

Andrew: Oh, totally.

Ethan: Just like a well-made Dino Buckler with like that clicky- and a power- oh my god, yeah.

Andrew: So Violet?

Violet: Yeah?

Andrew: Have you watched any Super Sentai before?

Violet: So mostly through the Americanized versions.

Andrew: Right, so you’ve watched Power Rangers?

Violet: I’ve watched Power Rangers. The Thunderzord era is my favorite. And then I don’t remember them well, but I do remember watching VR Troopers and Big Bad BeetleBorgs.

Andrew: I loved BeetleBorgs.

Violet: So those are the main ones that I’ve watched. And I really remember Power Rangers. I revisited it in 2010 when they did those re-releases. But for the most part, it was Power Rangers focused.

Andrew: Do you know why they did those re-releases?

Violet: I don’t remember, no.

Andrew: You’ll have to listen to our next episode.

Violet: Oh, man, ok.

Andrew: I will be talking about it, but it’ll be in the next episode.

Violet: Oh, OK. Episode four.

Andrew: Yeah, episode four. You’ll have to come back for episode four to find out why they did those re-releases.

Violet: Stay tuned.

Andrew: Stay tuned. But this is your first time watching Sentai.

Violet: This is my first time watching Sentai. This is my first time with Zyuranger. This is my first time with any Japanese Sentai at all.

Andrew: So, quick first impressions.

Violet: Quick first impressions are: I can’t believe that it’s not like super high tech. There’s no Alpha-5, there’s no-

Andrew: It’s all magical.

Violet: It’s all magic.

Ethan: Super magic. I mean, there is a certain degree of magitechnology, but also just technobabble in Power Rangers. But it’s like there is a Power that exists in the Morphing Grid. And this is a sort of nebulous concept that I think they explore very deeply like in the Dark Horse [sic: the comics might actually be IDW? idk.] comics, for example? But like is not explained. And so it’s like there is just Power out there somewhere in the universe that through their morphers and things, the Power Rangers are able to like pull on and channel.

Andrew: And in the next episode, just straight out of their hands.

Violet: Out of their hands, because why not? But yeah, no, in watching Zyuranger and everything, I was like, oh, this is like magic. Why do they have robot dinosaurs?

Ethan: It’s kind of interesting because I mentioned in our first episode that Zyuranger has a lot of firsts for the Sentai metafranchise, and that’s one of them, is that it is not a purely sci-fi show. There’s a lot of fantasy magical elements. You know, you look at something like Jetman or even Gorenger, the original one, it’s all just straight up sci-fi stuff. There’s no magic. There’s all like har- I don’t want to say hard sci-fi, but very definite sci-fi.

Violet: Yeah, and then like also watching Zyuranger, it’s like, okay… this makes way more sense than Power Rangers is making as an adult, like watching this, like it’s- there seems to be plot continuity!

Andrew: Well, and so you talked about the pacing thing. You talked about how Power Rangers just kind of blows the pacing and throws everything out. And you made an allusion to that being a common thing in all the American Sentai. There’s at least one show where that is not the case. And I feel like it’s worth bringing up. I’ve brought it up before and we will bring it up again, I’m sure. But that’s The Mystic Knights of Tir na Nog. The only actual American show done in this style follows the Zyuranger formula of, okay, we’re going to slowly introduce things and we’re going to slowly ramp up the power. And because they were producing it from scratch, they were like, hey, let’s actually, let’s write something.

Ethan: Well, I think it’s just crucial to note that like, no one, again, no one had done this before. There’s a weird parallel with Victory Gundam, which was like the fourth major Gundam series to release. Yoshiyuki Tomino, who is the creator of Gundam and was like the principal writer and director of the show, really butted heads hard with the studio who wanted the Gundam in the first episode, and he wanted to do a little bit more of a slow burn over the first four. And so what they ended up with was this terrible compromise that jumps back and forth in time. It makes no sense. And I think Saban was under, who can say whether it’s from the studio or pressure he put on himself, but like, I think that he wanted to hit that big high note, first thing to capture that audience and to get the interest. And I mean, he was making the show for kids, obviously, in the 90s, but he also had to like impress the studio execs at Fox and like-

Andrew: Who had repeatedly rejected this premise.

Ethan: Margaret Loesch originally thought it would never happen, like ridiculed the idea.

Andrew: Right, he only way we got Power Rangers was fluke on top of fluke. You know, it’s interesting that you say that Saban was the one who was under pressure, because I got to wonder how much of that was an attempt to kickstart toy sales. You can’t sell a Megazord toy if nobody’s seen the Megazord yet.

Ethan: And it would also be confusing if kids are in the store and see one and are like, “What? What is that?”

Andrew: Yeah, it hasn’t happened on screen yet. Right. And so I wonder how much of that plays into it. But I don’t know the timeline of the toy releases.

Ethan: Me neither.

Andrew: Have to find that out at some point.

Ethan: You gonna to hit us with a Rangers recap?

Andrew: Yeah, I can do a Rangers recap.

Violet: Rangers recap~.

[“It’s morphin time! Go Go Power Rangers!”]

Andrew: This episode was called “Teamwork.”

Ethan: It was.

Andrew: Which is just such a heavy-handed title.

Ethan: I don’t know that anyone alerted the American production team about like subtlety or things. I don’t think they’re familiar with the concept.

Andrew: This episode is not subtle.

Ethan & Violet: No.

Andrew: So I’m not doming at this time. I did take some notes. I’m going to run through it relatively quickly. My notes are probably too detailed. It’s a work in progress, folks. Okay, so when we start off with Kimmy and Trini collecting signatures for getting rid of a toxic waste site. They’re at the high school, they’re collecting signatures, some folks hassle them. They want the boys to come with them to deliver the signatures, and the boys all have previous engagements, most of which sound made up.

Violet: They do. They sound legitimate, like, reasons, but they make them sound made up.

Andrew: Right, they make them sound made up. And the one that sounds the most made up does turn out to be a legitimate reason. But they play it like the boys are just blowing the girls off, which was a weird choice. The girls in response talk about teamwork and how they feel like they’re not being supported, which would land a little better if they had given the boys any notice whatsoever. Obviously this is heavy-handed foreshadowing. Rita, who is just watching the Power Rangers as if they are a sitcom, decides to use pollution as her grand scheme to take over the planet.

Ethan: Crucially, she implies that she has already created the situation. So my question in my notes was like, does she have like an LLC? Is she incorporated on earth through like a shell corporation and is just trying to pollute Angel Grove?

Andrew: And obviously the site when they do get there has been there forever. So like, decades. And Rita has only been free for days.

Ethan: Many questions.

Violet: So many questions.

Andrew: So Rita talks about pollution. And then we cut back to the high school where Bulk and Skull show up, and they beat up a guy for recycling a can. Kimmy humiliates them. And there was a bit here that caught me off guard. While Bulk and Skull are stuck in the trash can, doing the whole crab walk in the trash can, an unnamed woman comes over and tries to help them out. She’s wearing similar clothes to them. We don’t get her name. She doesn’t speak. But this does really raise some questions about Bulk and Skull’s place within the social strata at Angel Grove.

Ethan: So she is actually in a previous episode. Let me see if I can find the note that I made.

Nelson, distantly: There’s more of them in “Food Fight.”

Ethan: Oh, it was in “Food Fight!” The episode that we watched out of order. She is there and there is another guy there also. They’re all sort of like loosely goth.

Andrew: Vaguely punk.

Violet: Kind of punkish, yeah. Just like alt.

Ethan: She’s got like, long dyed-blonde hair and wears sunglasses 24/7. But crucially, those characters never talk.

Violet: She looks a lot like Debbie from the Wild Thornberries.

Ethan: I can see that, I can see that.

Andrew: I mean, just classic 90s grunge. So the reason that I bring this up is because I think it does raise some questions about Bulk and Skull as they are presented within the show that these characters are vexing me. I remember them being buffoonish cartoonish villains as a kid. And they are. They are played as baboonish and cartoonish villains. But they are also not explicitly and consistently the object of ridicule in the way that I expect. It’s a weird dynamic. Anyway-

Ethan: There’s an incident in episode four between Bulk and Jason that makes me think there are further underlying social dynamics. That might just be my writer brain acting up.

Violet: I really wonder about their home life.

Ethan: Yes! Big time.

Violet: Like I am concerned for Bulk and Skull.

Ethan: Deeply, yeah.

Andrew: So Kimmy and Trini go to the industrial waste site, which appears to just be like a construction site. There doesn’t actually appear to be much waste. There’s a mud puddle.

Ethan: In their conversation throughout this episode, there is some questions for me whether they want to close down the dump site or clean up the dump site. So I think there is supposed to be a dump there, but the corporations that are dumping their toxic waste are not following the regulations or just like dropping stuff and leaving.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s not clear.

Ethan: Yeah, not clear at all.

[“Sign a petition! Help shut the dump site down!”]

Andrew: So Kimmy and Trini go to the industrial waste dump where they’re ambushed by the Putties and a monster. This is all U.S. footage and there’s lots of like super tight close-ups and extra wide shots to mask the fact that they’re using stunt doubles. Rita and company watch the telescope and they decide to send Goldar to help. This makes no sense. Zack teaches Alpha to dance.

Ethan: He does do that.

Andrew: He says something about hip hop, which I didn’t really understand. And then Alpha starts screaming “dudettes in trouble.” It was a really weird phrase that that stuck in my mind as a kid when I saw this episode.

Ethan: I also made a note of that.

Andrew: But he says it like seven or eight times. And the first time he said it, I had no idea what he did. “Dudettes in trouble!”

Ethan: Yeah, hard to parse. No subtitles.

Andrew: So Zordon summons all the boy rangers to HQ. Clearly this implies that he could have also summoned the girl rangers to remove them from the conflict that they were in and chose not to.

Ethan: So like he does kidnap them in that first episode, but he like alerts them to transport immediately and they do, which I think implies that the things that they told Kim and Trini that they had to go do that they couldn’t come to deliver the signatures, were not actually that important. Because they literally show up in a second. It’s not like a “What’s up? What’s going on?” They just appear.

Andrew: And Zach’s thing was teaching Alpha to dance, which is, which is just ridiculous. So the boys show up and they watch the girls fighting on the viewing orb and they do nothing. They just stand there and watch. Finster sends a monster, the boys morph and are instantly teleported to a rock quarry that has nothing to do with anything else going on to fight the monster. The girls are at a toxic dump. Then Goldar shows up. Then the girls morph and are instantly teleported to a forest, and then to a beach. And during that sequence, the Putties kind of show up and disappear and show up and disappear. They fade in and out of reality. Alpha and Zordon talk about teamwork. Zordon talks about the secrets of the Power Weapons.

Ethan: Ancient secrets of the power weapons.

Andrew: The ancient secrets of the power weapons. Again, no, no context. Zordon’s just like, hey-

Ethan: He’s just been holding onto these for the time he felt was appropriate.

Andrew: Maybe now that they’re all getting their butts kicked, we should give them some weapons.

Ethan: We said this in episode one, but like Zordon’s motives again are deeply, deeply questionable.

Andrew: Yeah, he’s a suspicious dude.

Ethan: He could have presented them with the weapons right off the bat. Now that would screw with the footage importing, obviously, but like-

Violet: Like I gave you a Megazord, I gave you control of a giant robot that could destroy towns, I can trust you with these weapons.

Andrew: So at this point, Rita does not say make my monster grow, which made me sad. But she does throw her staff and make the Minotaur huge. And this is the same Minotaur from the Zyuranger episode. Jason asks for help from the girls and then he summons his Zord. I noticed in this shot for the first time I was, I was paying attention to all the Zord summoning the way the pterodactyl flies out of the volcano. And it happens every time the pterodactyl shows up, but it’s such a sick shot.

Ethan: Oh, it’s totally sick. There’s another sick shot where the Minotaur fires energy beams from its horns at the SaberTiger. And it like leaps off a cliff with these explosions behind it. And I was like, oh man.

Andrew: So I watched that three or four times this morning.

Ethan: Just a really good puppet shot.

Andrew: So this also brings us to a trope, which will continue, as each of the Rangers forms the Megazord, they all say something. And normally it’s just like-

Ethan: Yeah, when they like take their cockpit seat, basically.

Andrew: And normally it’s just like, you know, “we’re here, we’re going to do this thing,” except for Kimmy, who every time either makes a dumb joke, in this case, “Let’s munch this Minotaur!”, or says something else to really drive home the whole Valley Girl thing that they were going for with Kimmy.

Ethan: I don’t know how Amy Jo Johnson delivered those lines without bursting into laughter.

Andrew: After jumping into the cockpit and saying let’s munch this Minotaur, the pterodactyl does do a flyby on Goldar and shoot him with some lightning. Nobody discusses this, but they do it. And then they go back to fight the Minotaur. They fight the Minotaur with the little Zords and it is sick. It is it is absolutely the coolest footage I can remember seeing of the individual Zords fighting.

Ethan: This is something that happens somewhat regularly in Zyuranger and the other Sentai shows that barely ever happens in Power Rangers.

Violet: Yeah, I don’t ever really remember that happening very much, but it was very like, Voltron-esque.

Andrew: So like when when Dragon Zord comes along, Dragon Caesar in Zyuranger, he will combine with SaberTiger, Mastodon, and Triceratops, and they will fight as one unit and then Tyrannosaurus will fight on his own. So they will like, tag team and the same thing happens in Dairanger which corresponds to Season 2, the ThunderZords.

Violet: ThunderZords with Red Dragon Range- er, Zord.

Ethan: The White Tiger Zord will combine with the Unicorn and the Kirin and the Firebird and the Red Dragon Zord with its like dual mode capability will act as backup. And so you get a lot more interesting fight dynamics that way.

Andrew: So they transform into the Megazord and more or less immediately Zordon is like, “Yo Rangers, he’s too strong, come back.” Which corresponds with the fact that this fight did not actually end with the destruction of the Minotaur in Zyuranger, but it was a real weird pacing choice. We don’t see what happened to the Zords either, which I thought was was a real weird choice, but Zordon immediately says, “Oh, I hid them, they’re back in their hiding places.”

Ethan: I mean, we see the Zords like emerge without teleporting, but it makes me wonder like, can they also teleport?

Violet: That would be convenient.

Ethan: Very convenient.

Andrew: And then Zordon gives them their weapons. They get the Power Weapons, the weapons that in Zyuranger they’re still questing for. One point to note here is that this was US mask footage, which I thought was very unusual.

Ethan: I think it might be the first US mask footage we see in the show.

Andrew: And it’s not especially well done and super awkward. They all just do not wear the costumes well or whoever they’ve got in them. They teleport back to the Minotaur and they’re talking while they’re teleporting, which I hated.

Ethan: Yeah, this is- that’s not the first time this has happened, when they’re sort of like their electricity blur forms and they’re flying over a color corrected landscape, that’s usually like red or green. And they’re like making a plan as they’re going. It’s- you really wonder about like if they’re traveling at, you know, whatever, you know, clearly faster than like the speed of sound, for example. It could be light speed. I feel like there would be huge explosion when they arrive. But there’s a lot of logistics questions here.

Andrew: But how are they talking?

Ethan: Exactly. How are they, I mean, are they physically, mentally communicating? It’s very- I’d be interested to dig into that question.

Andrew: So, so when they get back, they’re with the Minotaur and he’s small again.

Ethan: Yes, he is.

Andrew: And this is not explained at all.

Ethan: No it is not. It’s barely explained in Zyuranger, frankly.

Andrew: Yeah. They pull their weapons and they start attacking the Minotaur more or less immediately. There’s no like lead up. There’s no build up. It’s just, oh, we got weapons, let’s attack. And within a few seconds of that, they form the weird, big, ridiculous gun and they blast the Minotaur to dust. Rita sulks. They all go back to the high school where Kimmy says, gee, things sure work out a lot better when we work as a team. And then the principal comes up and gives them a hard time and they speed clean the hallway, really badly, by the way. I don’t know if you noticed that, but they left a ton of trash on the ground. The principal comes back and he’s like, hey, how is the hallway clean so quickly? Which again, it is not, but whatever. And the Power Rangers just lie to the principal, just gaslight him. “What mess are you talking about? There was never a mess.” Zordon calls them on their communicators to congratulate them. And then there is a silly coda about Alpha learning to break dance.

Ethan: With a teddy bear.

Andrew: With a- yeah, inexplicably.

Ethan: Totally unexplained or unaddressed.

Andrew: So this episode sucked.

Ethan: Not one of the better ones. They condensed three and four of Zyuranger into this one to finish the Minotaur fight. But again, the pacing loses all sense. When the Zyurangers go to the Land of Despair, that’s like a big deal. Like we are risking our lives so that we can get these weapons. We don’t know how to get around in here. There’s this like curse hanging over everything. There’s a kidnapped boy and his mom we have to save. None of that is in- there’s no stakes.

Andrew: This episode, yeah, exactly. We get this vague environmental message. We get these comments about Rita, about using pollution to destroy the planet or whatever. But then that has nothing to do with the rest of the episode.

Ethan: The Minotaur is not like a pollution beast.

Andrew: Right. And it’s not like they didn’t have pollution beast footage to pull from.

Ethan: The two themes do not intersect.

Andrew: The whole thing was just bizarre. I remember seeing this episode as a kid. I don’t remember being especially disappointed by it because it’s got a bunch of really cool fight scenes in it, and that’s really all I’ve watched Power Rangers for.

Ethan: There’s a really cool shot when Jason is alone on the ground and the Minotaur is like stepping. And the camera like does this like juddering, jumping thing that I thought was really cool.

Andrew: Lots of the footage that they pulled into this episode from Zyuranger was excellent.

Ethan: That shot is not in Zyuranger.

Andrew: Sure, but lots of the footage they pulled into this episode from Zyuranger is excellent. And some of the fight sequences, even the U.S. stuff in the toxic waste dump or whatever, they were good. The fight with Goldar was fine.

Ethan: It was cute how they used the trash can technique on the Putties that they just had seen used on Bulk and Skull.

Andrew: But from a plot standpoint, this was hot garbage.

Violet: It makes zero sense. It really does.

Ethan: I thought Day of the Dumpster was confusing, but this blows that out of the park in terms of just, there’s nothing here, which is a real shame because this episode of Zyuranger is my favorite so far. The whole Land of Despair thing, it had big like Jim Henson 1980s vibes. It was very like Dark Crystal-slash-Labyrinth, kind of, and the whole idea of them turning to stone. And there was there was stakes, there was pressure.

Ethan: And there’s like all these statues sort of littered around like, oh, this is what will happen to us, which I’m deeply curious about those. Like, I don’t think they made all of those just for this.

Andrew: Right, so where did they come from?

Ethan: So I’m curious about where they came from. Do they just like live at the studio and they bring them out whenever they need sort of miscellaneous, Samurai, there’s Samurai, there’s like weird guys in sci-fi armor. There’s a couple of like Western style knights in armor, it’s very interesting.

Andrew: But yeah, I was disappointed enough in this episode of Power Rangers that it was a struggle for me to watch the next episode. And like, the next episode is better, but it’s not much better.

Ethan: Yeah, they’re really, really struggling to find their feet.

Andrew: I know that they do eventually. But I hope they do soon.

Violet: They do, but yeah, cause right now it’s very jumbled. Because I watched the first four episodes of each one back to back. Because I am just catching up to guest star on this one. And it’s so jumbled. I could not believe what they were pulling from which ones in the just first few.

Andrew: And this is the second time that they’ve just kind of thrown Goldar in as, “oh yeah, he’s also here!” because they just didn’t have enough footage to make a fight work. And so far, no one in Zyuranger has seen Goldar. Goldar has not appeared to the Rangers. But so far, the Power Rangers have fought him twice. They’re doing that thing with Goldar here in Power Rangers that they do with Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Ethan: That is- I was not expecting to hear that show mentioned today, so I’m intrigued as to where this comparison is going.

Andrew: On Star Trek: The Next Generation, they set up Worf very early on, season two once Tasha’s gone. They set Worf up as being this big badass. He is supposed to be this magnificent warrior. He’s the chief of security on the flagship of the Federation.

Ethan: Dear listeners, Worf is a precious teddy bear and he’s double autistic.

Andrew: We’ll break that down when we do our Star Trek podcast. 2025, right? But when they introduce anybody and they’re trying to show what a badass this new person they’ve introduced is, the first thing that they have that person do is go knock Worf on his ass. And so just over and over again, they have-

Ethan, experiencing transcendence: Oh, he’s a jobber!

Andrew: Yeah, he’s a jobber! He’s a jobber!

Ethan: Oohhhhhhhh…

Andrew: They have they have people step up and and and knock Worf on his ass over and over again. They turn him into a jabroni and they’re doing that with Goldar in a really confusing way. They’re establishing Goldar as Rita’s enforcer and this big bad.

Ethan: He has a very scary face. He has this face and his cool golden armor and wings and stuff.

Andrew: Yeah, incredibly cool character and they just stomp on him over and over again.

Ethan: That continues the entirety of both shows. Although he does get a mech. He gets his own mech late in the show. It’s sick.

Andrew: I love that.

Violet: Good for him, good for him.

Ethan: Yeah, we’ll get to that. All right. I mean, I think we’ve largely covered our talkback. We talked a little bit about Violet’s history with the series. One question I have for you is that you and Ryan used to perform with a Megazord on stage, if I’m not mistaken. Could you tell us a little bit about that?

Violet: Yeah, when I was in Hurly-Burly and the Volcanic Fallout, which I guess I still am in, because we just released an EP. So we would perform- and we were ridiculous kids in costumes. We were theater kids. So it was all about the costume, the stage presence, but we didn’t really have like money for props. So we had Ryan’s Megazord from when he was a child and it always was on his bass amp.

Andrew: And papier-maiche volcanoes.

Violet: Papier-maiche volcanoes- we couldn’t afford papier-maiche, we had boxes.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean, that’s true. I’ve seen Hurly-Burly perform with a papier-maiche volcano.

Violet: …Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, full of balloons.

Violet: Full of balloons. The first time it was a cake and it was for my sister’s birthday party.

Andrew: Well, I love that. The Megazord is here. It’s downstairs.

Ethan: Yeah, it’s on display.

Violet: That’s not Ryan’s Megazord. That’s my Megazord, which is why it’s missing the pterodactyl.

Andrew: Big difference between your Megazord and Ryan’s Megazord.

Violet: Mine’s the 2010. Ryan has the original, which I wish I had.

Andrew: Okay, okay, my apologies. I didn’t mean to open that wound.

Violet: I don’t know where my pterodactyl is.

Ethan: They’re very easy to lose.

Violet: And then on top of that, I have another connection to Mighty Morphin: My brother was taught Shakespeare by Skull.

Ethan: No!!

Violet: Yes.

Ethan: Oh my god…

Violet: In like 2005, circa 2005-ish, Skull was teaching Shakespeare to Virginia Governor’s School. So like in the summer, he learned Shakespeare.

Ethan: That’s amazing. Okay, so pulling up Skull’s page, full name- This is a doozy: Eugene… Skullovitch. That’s why he’s called Skull. It’s not like a goth thing, it’s just Skullovitch. So that actor’s name is… Jason Narvy.

Violet: Yes, that was it, Narvy.

Ethan: Who just has this like incredibly well-crafted annoying laugh that mostly gets deployed at Bulk’s expense, frankly, he doesn’t really laugh that much at other people. Just such a good character.

Violet: Shakespearean trained.

Ethan: Apparently! And Shakespearean training. What’s your brother’s name?

Violet: Jesse, Jesse Hunter.

Ethan: Jesse Hunter.

Ethan and Violet: Shout out, Jesse.

Andrew: So when’s Jesse going to be on the show?

Violet: We can make that happen.

Andrew: Okay. When’s Skull going to be on the show?

Violet: I don’t know if I can make that happen.

Ethan: Are they still in touch?

Violet: I don’t think they’re still in touch.

Andrew: It probably wouldn’t be that hard.

Ethan: Has he got his email?

Violet: You know, honestly, we can reach out.

Ethan: We could at least just like send a nice note like, hey, we appreciate the work that you did… thirty years ago.

Violet: Would you Skype into our podcast?

Ethan: Oh, I don’t want to think about how teleconferencing and this show would work.

Andrew: It’s not that bad.

Ethan: No, that is such a cool connection. So that’s- we’re like three degrees away from an actual cast member. And who knows what we might discover later in the future.

Andrew: As we continue to Kevin Bacon.

Ethan: Three degrees from Jason Narvy. No, that’s so cool. I didn’t- you didn’t let us know about that before the show. So we’re like discovering this live in real time.

Violet: Yeah, I figured like, I should tell y’all.

Ethan: Violet, I know you’re- you’ve told us you’re not into Sentai yet. I mean, I guess, except for four episodes, but you’re into like other tokusatsu and mecha shows also, right? So tell us a little bit about what animes do you like?

Violet: I really love mecha anime in particular. Grew up with it on Toonami and everything like that.

Ethan: God bless Toonami.

Violet: God bless Toonami. You know, my intro into like the anime that I really remember first really digging was, of course, Gundam Wing.

Andrew: That’s the only Gundam show I’ve seen.

Violet: Oh, there’s several, several good ones. I really like the original Gundam.

Ethan: Frankly, Gundam Wing is pretty mid by the standards of the others. Like, it has a special place in my heart and will forever, but it’s pretty mid. It doesn’t help that the director died halfway through production, I mean completely- that threw everyone, as it would, but the second half of the show really, really suffers from production disaster. Anyway.

Violet: But yeah, so watch several of the Gundam series. Zoids, Zoids was so good.

Andrew: So Zoids is one of these things that I know I watched and loved. But Ethan and I talked about this recently. I could not remember a single detail about the show. Couldn’t remember anything about it. Couldn’t remember anything about how it worked, like the mechanics of the show were lost on me. All I remember is big robot, go fight.

Violet: Yeah. That’s most of it. That’s most of the show.

Ethan: But it’s important to note that robot is cat.

Andrew: And sentient.

Violet: And sentient!

Ethan: EhHhHh, some of them definitely are, and some of them aren’t.

Andrew: Sure.

Violet: But yeah, I collected the Zoids toys. Like they were little model kits I put together.

Andrew: Ethan had quite a number of those.

Ethan: I still have a bunch of mine. Whenever I want to feel burning shame about how bad of a modeler I was as a kid, I pull those out and look at the terrible nub marks.

Violet: Oh god.

Ethan: Like a four millimeter stub sticking off of every armor piece. Like, what did I use to cut these out? A freakin kitchen knife? I don’t know.

Andrew: Scissors? Your bare hands.

Ethan: I truly don’t know.

Andrew: When I built models as a kid, I definitely snapped them with my bare hands.

Ethan: I mean, I know I had access to like nail clippers, which is better than nothing, but like-

Andrew: Sure, but you didn’t have the knowledge that you needed them.

Ethan: No, no. You have a model of something. It’s a resin kit that we have talked about. What is that?

Violet: It’s a vinyl kit.

Ethan: A vinyl kit.

Violet: It is Combatler V.

Ethan: Okay, tell us about Combatler V.

Violet: So Combatler V, I really know from having it as a toy as a child. My dad would travel a lot and he would come back and bring us a toy, usually, when I was younger. So I’m pretty sure it came from like an airport or something? But um, Combatler was this red robot made up of various transportation parts, like his feet were like drill cars or something like that. And his chest was like some kind of jet thing. So I had the toy as a kid and it was my favorite toy. I have since lost every single one of the pieces.

Andrew: Sure, of course.

Violet: So now I have this vinyl kit in the other room that I have had on my project list forever, and I can’t wait to put back together. The other toy that I really want to get a model is Big O. I love Big O.

Ethan: They put out like a high quality Big O model a couple of years ago.

Andrew: Is that the Soul of Chogokin?

Ethan: I don’t think it’s Chogokin, I think it’s a different-

Violet: Okay, because they’ve had him out and yeah.

Andrew: They did a Combattler V that way too.

Ethan: There are a few, there are a few- the Chogokin stuff is like, big money.

Andrew: So I’m assuming that the vintage toy would have been from the same line that gave us the Super Shoguns in the US.

Violet: Probably.

Andrew: And I have a ton of those. I don’t know anything about those characters in Japan other than Mazinger. But even then I know more of that from like Spain than I do from Japan. I absolutely love big ole robot toys.

Violet: Oh, Transformers, I get so nerdy about Transformers.

Andrew: Sure, of course.

Violet: Because like it’s like the toy version of what they did with the Power Rangers.

Andrew: In more ways than one.

Violet: Because they took just all these different toys from all these different companies that they got the molds and the rights to and just like, hey, let’s shove this into a show.

Andrew: And we’ll actually be talking about more of that in the next episode as well.

Violet: Good.

Andrew: Because the parallels are even stronger than you might realize.

Ethan: And there’s a parallel to Gundam there also, which is that Tomino saw Transformers and was like, “Oh, that’s cool.” So then all of the suits, like all of the big name suits and mobile suits in Zeta Gundam are transforming suits. Literally would not have happened unless he had happened to catch an episode of Transformers and go, “Oh, that’s a good idea.”

Andrew: Have you seen Our Friend Power Five?

Violet: I have not seen Our Friend Power Five.

Andrew: Ethan, do you know about this?

Ethan: I don’t know what this is.

Andrew: Okay-

Violet: Oh, wait. No, no, no. Yes, you showed me this.

[“POWERRR… FIVE!”]

Andrew: Our Friend Power Five is a South Korean hybrid live action animated film starring the worst Ninja Turtle knockoffs you will ever see.

Ethan: Oh, you did show me this. The guy got like a whole shipping container of Ninja Turtles costumes or something like that.

Andrew: He got the molds for the Ninja Turtles toys and a bunch of Go-Bots in South Korea, but neither Ninja Turtles nor Go-Bots had been released there. It hadn’t been localized and he needed a way to sell the toys. So he made a movie using some animated footage of the Go-Bots, using the same studio that actually did a ton of animation at that time. A bunch of anime was actually being produced in South Korea. So he used some of the same studios and then Toei provided him with the suits of his horrible Ninja Turtles. They’re really, really bad. But it’s the same idea where they needed a way to sell these toys. So they produced this film. The whole thing’s up on YouTube. It’s not good.

Ethan: Nelson’s watching it right now. I’m watching Nelson watching it.

Andrew: So the animation is super limited, but not especially bad, you know? But when you get to the live action shots, I mean, it is breathtaking. Yeah.

Violet: But same thing. Same hat, same hat.

Ethan: Cool, thank you for telling us about all of your history and your interests. So the research topic today is mine and I chose the actress Soga Machiko, because she came up so frequently. This is the actress who plays Bandora and the face of Rita, although not the voice for most of it. Although she would go back to redub Power Rangers in Japanese. So it is- if you watch the Japanese release of Power Rangers, it’s her dubbing over herself.

Andrew: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. There’s a Japanese release of Power Rangers?

Ethan: Yeah! They redubbed it.

Violet: That’s amazing.

Andrew: They took-

Ethan: Uh-huh.

Nelson, distantly: Yeah, that’s crazy.

Andrew: Is it successful?

Ethan: I have no idea.

Andrew: Okay, we gotta find out.

Ethan: It’ll have to be like a special episode.

Andrew: Yeah!

Ethan: We watch some Japanese Power Rangers.

Andrew: I want to see reaction videos. I want to see people who watched Super Sentai watching Power Rangers for the first time.

Ethan: That would be awesome. It’s like- it’s like that whole process that we’ve been talking about of like, the cultural transference. But not in reverse because it’s already happened once. So it’s just like a weird U-turn, you end up with like a sandwich effect.

Andrew: And that’s the way that this always works. This idea that any culture is a monolith is a myth. All cultures are made up of bits and pieces of one another. And this is just a particularly egregious example, where something that was localized is being relocalized, is being relocalized. I mean, it’s neat, frankly. Um, I love that I know this. Thank you for sharing this.

Ethan: We’ll have to look further into it. So Soga Machiko was born March 18th of 1938 in Hachioji District in Tokyo and got into acting through radio, starting in the early 60s. So she played like a couple of protagonist characters, a couple of evil characters. You know, she could do like a little kid voice if she needed to do a little kid voice, stuff like that. Her television debut came in the early 70s, mostly doing voiceover work. And then her first big tokusatsu role was as Queen Hedrian in 1980’s Denshi Sentai Denjiman. She would play the same character in Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan. And then very soon after that would play Majou Bandora in 1992 and ’93. And then as we mentioned, through the Sabanization process, she would be required not only to phonetically read some English lines to provide more footage for Power Rangers, but also to redub her own performance that had already been redubbed in English back into Japanese, but crucially was not playing Bandora, but was dubbing Rita.

Andrew: Right.

Violet: That’s amazing.

Andrew: So I know Lord Zedd was not in any of the Sentai, is not in Zyuranger.

Violet: Really?

Ethan: Yeah.

Andrew: Lord Zedd is an American invention.

Ethan: Complete Western new character.

Andrew: So does that mean that all of the footage of Zedd and Rita interacting was also… I guess it has to mean that, that is the stuff that was reshot by this actress.

Ethan: So there are multiple actresses now have played the character of Rita.

Andrew: Interesting, ok.

Ethan: So Zedd doesn’t show up until season two. When they have their interactions, that’s the same costume, but a completely different actress. That’s an American actress in the Rita costume playing the character.

Andrew: So when Machiko is playing Rita in English, it is for the last 10 episodes of this season.

Ethan: Right.

Andrew: Okay, cool.

Ethan: Soga passed away in May of 2006, aged 68, after a long and storied career. And I think probably my favorite fact that I learned about her was that she had a small antique and curio shop in Harajuku. I just think it would be really neat if you just are like wandering around Tokyo thrifting and you walk in and Witch Bandora is just there trying to like sell you a rug. Or like-

Andrew: Threatening you if you don’t buy her rug.

Ethan: “I’ll crush your children in a spaceship!” Or you know, and I just think that’s such a cute little fact of like, she just had her own little shop.

Andrew: That’s wonderful.

Violet: I love that.

Ethan: And if you, you know, look at her actress credits, she’s all over Sentai and tokusatsu in general. The radio show stuff specifically is like expansive.

Andrew: Sure.

Ethan: And she actually makes another appearance in Power Rangers in like 20 years from where we’re at now in our coverage as a sort of quasi-angelic figure, which is like a reformed Rita Repulsa, who’s like the source of all good magic in the universe.

Andrew: Interesting.

Ethan: Shows up way, way later. We’ll get to that when we get to it.

Andrew: In a decade, yeah. It’s going to take us till ’25 to get through season one at this rate.

Ethan: Correct.

Andrew: Good stuff.

Ethan: That’s the research topic for today.

Violet: Cool!

Ethan: Thank you, Soga Machiko, for your excellent performances. We got anything else before we close out?

Andrew: I’m good.

Violet: I’m great.

Andrew: Thank you so much for being here, Violet.

Violet: I’m so happy to be here. Thank you for including me.

Ethan: Yeah! We will be back next time to discuss episodes four of Zyuranger, “Yomigaere Densetsu no Buki: Reawaken, Legendary Weapons!”, and Power Rangers, “A Pressing Engagement.” If you’ve enjoyed the show, please feel free to send me $5. And if you want to find me online, don’t. But you can follow the show on the Fediverse at KenkyuuSentaiPodcastRangers @ meet.CommunityMedia.network. Violet, what have you got going on that people should look out for and how should people get in touch if they want to?

Violet: I have so many things going on.

Ethan: I know.

Violet: Okay, so I am Dr. Deathray.

Ethan: She is Dr. Deathray.

Violet: Of Dr. Deathray and the Implements of Destruction. You can find us on Instagram, preferably through AnalogRevolution.com, or find me on the Fediverse at DoctorDeathray @ retro.social.

Andrew: That is correct.

Violet: I also am in Hurly-Burly and the Volcanic Fallout, who of course did this theme song. And we just released a Christmas album. This is coming out after Christmas. But go ahead and listen to it because seven days of Christmas- 12 days of Christmas technically starts on Christmas day.

Andrew: It’s also guaranteed to be a perennial Christmas classic.

Violet: Perennial, yes.

Andrew: It’s a free download and you will listen to it every Christmas for the rest of your life or you will die.

Violet: One of the two. Probably both. And then what else do I do? I’m an audio engineer. I run Analog Revolution with Andrew. It is our record label. We have a whole bunch of artists out. Pre-order’s up for Michael Cera Palin. Just released Eli Pop. All kinds of things. Just go to AnalogRevolution.com or find me on the Fediverse, DoctorDeathray @ retro.social.

Ethan: Mhm, mhm. Andrew, what have you got going on lately?

Andrew: I don’t think I want to do a plug today. There’s too much going on. No, very briefly: I’ve just started releasing a film serial from the 19-teens called “The Master Mystery” starring Harry Houdini.

Ethan: Yeah, the Harry Houdini.

Andrew: Yeah, the Harry Houdini. It’s a really fascinating kind of thing because it’s a mech show. The premise of the series is that there is a mech in 1918. This is before the word robot was coined. So like they don’t have the language to talk about this guy yet.

Ethan: What do they call it? Automaton?

Andrew: The machine.

Ethan: The machine, that makes sense.

Andrew: But yeah, it’s a fascinating little thing. An adventure serial in 15 parts. The closest thing that the teens had to television. But of course it’s silent, so I’m re-scoring it using some music that we’ve composed here and some music that I found in various places, Creative Commons licensed and so on and so forth. That’s fun. It’s on New Ellijay Television. We’ve also recently started releasing new episodes of Expedition Sasquatch, which is the comedy bigfoot podcast that I do. You can find that at expeditionsasquatch.org.

Ethan: Dot Org. Again, to any IRS agents who might be listening, .org; it is a non-profit endeavor.

Andrew: And you can also find that on New Ellijay Television. That’s a lot of fun. I do that with my buddy Josh, who will almost certainly end up on this show at some point.

Ethan: Almost certainly. We might have to like send a car to pick him up, but yeah.

Andrew: Bad driving anxiety, but that’s okay. We’ll get you here some way, Josh. And I think that’s it for now. Y’all know me, I’m always doing too much. You can find the rest of the things that I work on at AndrewRoach.net. And that list is also not accurate, but it’s more accurate than most of the other lists that I share.

Ethan: Including, but not limited to.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ethan: All right. 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 EllijayMakerspace.org, and you can learn more about the Cherokee people by visiting Cherokee.org. Strength, love, and solidarity to all oppressed people, and in the words of a wise man, f*** capitalism, go home.

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Harry Houdini still fighting a Cyborg

The latest episode of The Master Mystery, that 1918 steampunk scifi film serial in which Harry Houdini squares off against an automaton with a human brain, is up now!

You can catch up with the first five (or 8, depending on how you count it) in the playlist above, or see them over on our Video Streaming site. But if silent steampunk science fiction film serials about cyborgs from the 1910s aren’t your thing (I don’t understand how that could possibly be, but to each there own) perhaps you’d be more interested in the novelization of the film? Or perhaps even an audiobook?

As much as I’ve been enjoying the films, the book might be even more fun, and the free Librivox audiobook is very well done!

However you get your Harry Houdini Cyborg Fix, know you’re in good company!

If you’re enjoying The Master Mystery, please consider sponsoring us to help us keep doing this kind of thing!