Power Rangers and Super Sentai are two series that have, for the past twenty-four years, been linked. Power Rangers would take its fight footage from various Sentai seasons and adapt it for American audiences. The producers of Power Rangers wouldn’t get any say in the footage; they’d just have to make it work. Sometimes that was to the series advantage and sometimes they had to work with a weaker Sentai season.
The American side of production has hardly ever had a say with Toei, the producers of Sentai in Japan, in what the newest Super Sentai season would contain. That has now changed. Bandai America, the stateside arm of Bandai of Japan, has had a direct influence in the creation of the newest Sentai season, Uchu Sentai Kyuranger.
Speaking to No Pink Spandex, Greg Mitchell, former Senior Director of Marketing for Bandai America, laid out exactly how this came to be.
“We got brought in pretty early on and got to hear what the creative pitch for the show was, which was a space zodiac cosmos type of thing which we get excited about. (Bandai America) got to help at the conceptual stage to think about what could the zords be, what could the weaponry be, what would be the Ranger Key or Dino Charger?”
Mitchell points to the changing superhero market that has been driven by Marvel as the main touch point for their influence. With this evolution of super heroes, Power Rangers had to adapt.
“Think about Captain America. He used to wear red white and blue spandex. His costume became more cool and tactical looking. He aged up the look of a classic hero. We were constantly bringing up examples like that never to undermine what makes Power Rangers Power Rangers but to say, let us help to form the shape of Power Rangers as respectively as possible to make it competitive as possible in the US.”
Mitchell also cites Power Rangers main competition these days as not only Marvel but also Star Wars. It isn’t hard to see that the new trilogy of movies had an influence on Kyuranger’s space motif.
This is a bold new direction for both Sentai and Power Rangers. If the American side of production has even a small say in what’s to come, it could mean stronger entries in both franchises to come.
Shamus Kelley thinks it’s space time. Follow him on Twitter!