Clash of the Red Rangers Review

Okay, so the new Power Rangers Samurai TV movie “Clash of the Red Rangers” debuted just a couple of hours ago (when I started writing this post), and so far, I’m not sure what to make of it.

On first watch, they seem to be pulling from three different sources to make this special. First, and most obvious, was Shinkenger vs. Go-Onger, only with just RPM Ranger Red making an appearance, and then mixed in with that was the Shinkenger movie, mostly using a re-shot version of the major battle scene and the battle against the now-named General Gut, and what should have been the reveal of the Shark zord/Shark Attack Ranger (Kyoryu Origami/Hyper Shinkenger) but was instead revealed in the Double Red Ranger fight scene, and a random episode which was originally where Kotoha/ShinkenYellow first used the Super Shinkenger power (it was the scene where the Samurai Rangers first come in).

Basic plot summary: The RPM Rangers are still fighting the robot hordes (a.k.a. Venjix) that nearly destroyed humanity, when one bad guy named Professor Cog escapes from his dimension into the Samurai Ranger’s dimension, with RPM Ranger Red on his tail. After seeing the new Samurai Rangers in action, he makes a deal with Master Xandred to eliminate the Rangers in exchange for Sanzu River water, which he plans on using to poison the water supply in the RPM dimension. When he sends out his Grinders to take out the Samurai Rangers, that’s when RPM Ranger Red shows up. He tells the Samurai Rangers that his name is Scott, and that he came from his dimension to stop Professor Cog while he’s in the Samurai Ranger’s dimension. After a fight with the Professor and his Grinder minions, the team is transported by Cog to the RPM dimension, leaving the two Reds who’ve been poisoned by Cog’s hypno-bolts. Both sides regroup, where we see Xandred and General Gut talking about a Mooger army build-up they’ve been planning since before Professor Cog showed up. The next day, with Jayden and Scott growing more and more hostile towards each other, they set off to fight a combined Mooger/Grinder horde, only to start fighting each other. Their fight ends with a fake-out, using the same trick Professor Cog had pulled in Scott in his dimension, and together they wipe out the Moogers and the Grinders using the Samurai’s yet-to-be-revealed Shark Attack and Super Modes. That’s when the others finally return and help them take out Professor Cog and a Nighlock ordered to assist him. After that, they charge into a battle with General Gut and a swarm of Moogers, with RPM Ranger Red and Samurai Gold Ranger fighting from a Red Convertible (it was a Mustang, but they can’t use brand names on Power Rangers for legal reasons). They take out General Gut with Jayden going into Shark Attack Mode, and then finish him off using the new Shark Zord. After which, the Samurai Rangers see Scott off to his dimension, while hinting at a possible upcoming romance between Mike and Emily. 😉

My review: Let me start out by saying that I had started on this post yesterday, shortly after it had premiered, and my impression of it has since changed. If I had published the review I was working on yesterday, then all you would have read was a scathing, nit-picky, dare I say fanboy-esque review, in which I just constantly pointed out every little flaw and complained about every little incongruency with the story, and you all would have probably called me out for it. But since then, I’ve had a chance to see the special again, and rethink my position on certain things, and if I’m honest, it wasn’t half bad considering all the things they had working against them.

For example, we all would have like to seen Eka Darville in person, at least for a one scene, but he couldn’t be there, so we’ll just have to make due with his voice over. One thing I really don’t get though, if they did that just for him, then why not just replace everyone else that couldn’t show with suit actors and give them some kind of voice double, like the very obvious one they had for Steven Skyler/Antonio. They’ve had Ari Boyland on there voicing a Nighlock, I’m sure he could have come in to voice his parts. And I know they needed to fill time by replacing the missing scenes in the movie (Megazord battle with Professor Cog on the Moon, the Goseiger fight scene, etc.), but why use the Shinkenger movie scenes? That just threw off the whole plot line of the movie. Sure, you needed a way to formally introduce the Shark Zord, but why didn’t they just do it in another special? And I’m just ranting again.

Overall, I’d say this was a good special, given the special conditions. Would I say it was the best Samurai has had to offer so far? No. But I do think that the best is waiting just around the corner. After all, there are a lot of big things waiting for us in season two.

Still wish they could have done more with this one. Maybe next time, with whichever two series they decide to make a crossover for, they’ll be able to get a hold of the actors from the previous season before they go off and get new acting jobs.

-M.C., the Quantum Twin

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Ikari Gai: Dead man Walking? Or walking on sunshine?

Ikari Gai, an interesting character, to say the least. The sixth Go-Kaiger, he’s a majorly geeky fanboy, and yet one of the coolest characters on the show. He became instantly loved (and hated) after his very first appearance because of the blatant fact that he is both the official representative of all Sentai fanatics, and the ultimate expression of the fanboy fantasy come true. Here is this incredibly nerdy fanboy, given a chance to be the very thing he obsesses about daily, and by three of the biggest legends in the Sentai universe no less. That would be like Dr.Tommy Oliver showing up at your door, handing you a morpher, and saying “It’s your turn now”. But with such a popular character, there’s bound to be rumors about him spread across the web, and there is one massive rumor associated with him that we’re focused on now: that, at some point, he could be killed off before the end of the series. There’s plenty of signs out associated with him that could very much point to that possibility, but there are also plenty of other signs that he won’t be. Here’s how it’s laid out so far:

Reasons why people think Gai will be killed off:

  1. His name. Now this might not seem like much, but that name has been given to other past Sentai senshi who were killed off, most notably Yuki Gai (Black Condor) who appeared in the Jetman tribute episode, as a ghost! What if the writers gave him that name because they planned on killing him off?
  2. When he recieved the Go-KaiCellular, he was in a coma, and was visited by the spirits of Mikito/AbareKiller, TimeFire, and Dragon Ranger. All three were past Sixth Rangers that were killed off by the end of their respective series. So was that another sign that Gai is doomed?
  3. Because rumors about him dying keep popping up. Honestly, I think most of it’s just persistent Gai haters and trolls putting it out there, but some of it could be genuine.

As you can see, there are some “arguements” for why people think Gai will one day walk the plank (sorry, couldn’t resist). But here’s some compelling arguements I’ve come up with for why myself and many others think Gai will live:

  1. Because he’s a geeky fanboy. When you get down to it, Gai has only a very loose association with these dead characters that have been mentioned or referenced to him. He has a completely different personality all together from the other characters that were mentioned. They were these tough, macho characters that often started out as the bad guy! Gai is as far from that as you can get.
  2. This is actually a new one I came up with after watching the last episode. Throughout that episode, while Yuki Gai was interacting with the other Go-Kaigers, Gai couldn’t even see him, he had no idea he was even there until the others told him about it. And you’d think Gai of all people would have seen him, especially since he was in a coma at one point. That sort of thing tends to happen in fiction. So what does that say about Gai’s fate?
  3. Toei has had a policy since the end of Hurricanger not to kill off any major heroic characters, due to then Japanese involvement in the Iraq war (needless to say, no involvement there anymore). And they’ve kept to that promise since then (the only exceptions have been bad guys that switched to the good side, which is rather lazy from a writing standpoint if you ask me). And since Gai has been a heroic character from the start, there’s no way they could kill him.
  4. Because they couldn’t kill him off even if they wanted too. He’s become too popular a character, to endearing a character, to just kill off. There would be so many people complaining about it, so many people ticked off enough to force the writers to bring the character back from the dead permanently. And I’m pretty sure that they wouldn’t want to deal with that at Toei.

In case you haven’t been able to tell, I’m on the side that believes Gai will live, that they won’t even think about killing him off. And I mean, really, why would they kill him off? What purpose would that hold in this story? This isn’t a dark, mature series, it’s about colorfully dress pirates looking for adventure and treasure. You can only get so serious with it. And besides, I like Gai. I can relate to him. His overbearing geekiness, his need to be a good person all around, his sometimes weird and off-center ways of doing things and view of the world. Honestly, I would be one of those extremely pissed off people that would complain every chance I’d get if they decided to kill of Gai. That’s just not going to happen, not under my watch.

Long live Go-KaiSilver!

-M.C., the Quantum Twin