Power Rangers Super Megaforce is something that the fandom has been waiting for since 2011. After the lukewarm response to Power Rangers Samurai and the general disinterest in Super Samurai, fans were hoping Megaforce would hit the ground running, being the twentieth anniversary season of this long running franchise. Sadly, Megaforce proved to be nothing more than some halfhearted Mighty Morphin Power Rangers homages and episodes that were seventy percent fights. This led to some of the worst pacing in all of Power Rangers and pretty much botched the whole season.
However, the fans still had some hope. Super Megaforce would be adapting the anniversary extravaganza, Kaizoki Sentai Gokaiger, which featured the rangers morphing into all the past seasons of rangers. So fans speculated some of this season’s magic would rub off on Power Rangers. To put it in other words? They hoped Super Megaforce would get past the near bottom basement bar Samurai and Megaforce set.
Thankfully, Super Megaforce was able to go a little past that bar. It rose to the level of enjoyable. This episode actually delivers some satisfying plot points while the extended fight actually feels natural to the story instead of slowing it all down to burn Sentai footage.
We actually get scenes utilizing the side characters of Ernie and Mr. Burley and we even get a great joke involving Jake receiving green powers despite his original color being black. After twenty episodes of barely any action taking place out of suit? It’s a welcome change. We see the rangers are actually hurt from the alien armada, linking it to the Megaforce finale, and an ending scene at the school calling back to the first episode. It’s the little things that help this premiere stand out.
Even the fight that takes up a solid seventy five percent of the episode works, although if we keep having fights this long? Well, let’s hope not. With an alien armada invading the rangers have to call on their new Super Duper Ultra Mega Super Suits (patent pending on that one.) I was pleasantly surprised how well the changes were handled, even if the editing on the all red morph was awkward. The changes all had some weight to them and I even felt something positive for Samurai! That takes a lot.
The main drawback of this episode was the acting. Yeah, I know, Power Rangers will never win any Emmys, but the ADR from the rangers was painful. When you’re running around a battlefield firing lasers and jumping all over the place? Vary your tone a little bit. Actually move around in the booth. And no, screaming is not acting. I don’t know who’s directing these guys but almost everyone scream talks their battle dialogue and it takes me out of the scene every time it happens. Azim Rizk is the happy exception and really fits the wild energy the footage has of the Green Ranger.
Sadly, Andrew Gray as Troy has not improved since Megaforce. I’m certainly not blaming the actor; I don’t think any of them are bad actors. They’re all just directed so poorly. That, and given some of the worst dialogue Power Rangers has ever seen. “Super Mega Rangers, that’s a Super Mega Win!” Ugh. In fact, re-listen to Troy’s line when they have to revert back to the Super Megaforce powers from their Mystic Force forms. Then go watch the English dub of Speed Racer. His lines are delivered exactly the same way. It’s painful.
We’re introduced to our new sets of villains and they are painfully dull. I know you can only do so much in a premiere but they come off as wildly generic. It doesn’t help that they all sound like the same actor voices them. Hopefully they’ll be given something to do, and with the connection between the Prince and Vrak they might actually get a chance to shine.
Overall, the episode is a solid start for Power Rangers Super Megaforce. I just worry that they’ll quickly squander all the potential in the premiere. They finally used the school setting for something meaningful and we had the rangers interacting with Ernie. Sure they weren’t built up too well, but it’s something the writers could expand on. I’d love to see more high school shenanigans with the rangers having to hide their identities. I’d love to see wacky antics at Ernie’s, and the opening even hints at the fact Emma will be working there soon.
The other big element I’m wondering how they’ll handle: the anniversary aspects. Changing into the past teams. This episode was fairly low key about it, preferring to focus on the Super Megaforce powers, so we’ll need to see how big a deal they make them in future episodes. Having the rangers actually say the respective morph calls (even if they forgot them for S.P.D. and Ninja Storm) was a nice touch, even if the simple task of having their respective theme songs play was lost.
So I’m cautiously optimistic about this season. Hopefully I won’t be let down like I have been for the past three years.
But now I want to hear from you, faithful readers. Do you agree with me? Could Power Rangers Super Megaforce actually be enjoyable? Or do you think the premiere was just more of the same? Comment and let me know!