Monday, 4 January 2016

Nerdversity Discussion: Power Rangers vs. Super Sentai

The above image supplied by Sean Akizuki. You can view his Toku blog here

If you're a Power Rangers fan or indeed a Super Sentai fan, you've probably noticed that the war is brewing again and shots have been fired across both fandoms. The Super Sentai fanboys are declaring war on Power Rangers by calling it a fake, a knock off and in some cases, a bootleg. Recent examples include Tokupinoy's stance on things and Ukiyaseed's take.

Let's define what a bootleg is: A bootleg is an illegal recording made of a copyrighted performance and then sold for profit without permission from the copyright holder. The seller doesn't usually pay taxes on bootlegs either.  

Since Toei and Saban, along with Bandai are in agreement with everything, all 3 companies pay their taxes, Saban have paid FOR the footage from Toei, then it's not a bootleg. Saban have had permission to use the footage as they see fit. 

It doesn't matter if you've never watched the Sentai or if you never watch Power Rangers, just remember this: They are NOT the same thing. Being mad at Super Megaforce because it's not Gokaiger, is like being mad at Marvel because Captain America isn't Batman. They are 2 separate entities each with their own storyline and cast. The only thing they share are stock footage. Power Rangers isn't trying to be anything it's not. 

I grew up watching Power Rangers and this was in the 90s. I didn't have the internet back then, we knew that sentai existed and we heard about it through the magazines we read, finding these old sentai shows on bootleg VHS tape was impossible, so we had no way of finding out what Zyuranger was like. It wasn't until fairly recently when these shows became available that I started finding out the origins of what we know and love. I still enjoy Power Rangers for the entertainment it gave me as a child and that spot in my heart won't go away, but now I hold a healthy respect for Ultraman, Kamen Rider and Gorenger, they are the shows that took off in Japan and restarted the Tokusatsu genre, which is immensely popular and the reason why have Power Rangers in the first place. Without those shows being successful, Jason David Frank, (Tommy) wouldn't have had successes in 4 series, a bunch of cameos and 2 movies. He wouldn't be at these conventions and he wouldn't have millions of social media followers.

It is possible to enjoy both. It's possible to just watch one and not the other. But please, respect each other's decisions and not resort to bullying. Calling Power Rangers a rip off isn't true, as it's a fully licensed adaptation with clearance from all parties.