"yeah the japanese versions are better, they should not change them."
This quote is from Venus in yesterday's blog post really got me thinking. While I'm not sure I agree with that statement, I must thank you for inspiring this post!
As mentioned before, "Power Ranger Samurai" is the current series on the air right now. It's the adaptation of 2009's "Samurai Sentai Shinkenger". How this adaptation works is that all the non-costume scenes are filmed with new zealand actors imitating the plot and the setting of the original series, and the fight scenes using actual Japanese footage with their voices dubbed over. No kid is going to tell the difference, and I'm more than positive that it's going to be a hit and that is kind of sad.
For the record, I never seen Shinkenger before seeing several episodes of Power Ranger Samurai. And PRS just left a bad taste in my mouth. For one, the cheesy acting of the New Zealand actors trying to imitate an American accent, it's especially awful in the kids. And the other, is the writing for the monsters themselves. They talk in puns, PUNS OUT THE WAZOO. It makes you think there isn't really any threat in the Power Rangers world at all, it's just monsters that show up and just annoy the general public with their word play. Nobody is ever in any real danger, nope.
So after several episodes of disappointment, I finally said to myself, "I'm getting too old for this crap" and just dropped the series altogether. Chalking the "faults" of the series as attributed to growing up and no longer able to enjoy things that I once was able to as a kid, I moved on. It was only until a couple of months ago that someone told me that the original series was awesome, and of course, I was skeptical. And then, after one episode of Shinkenger I was HOOKED. It's inexplicable, but Shinkenger is miles and away better than Power Ranger Samurai but their plots are IDENTICAL!
It's kind of hard to describe why it's better, but I'll show you a clip comparing a Japanese scene to the English version. While watching, try to notice the sound design, characterization of the rangers themselves, and the fighting scenes themselves.
For some reason, watching Samurai Sentai Shinkenger makes me feel young again. I find myself engrossed in the plot, invested into the growth of the characters, and just looking in awe of the fight choreography. I didn't get any of that watching Power Ranger Samurai, I just felt ashamed of my hobby. So, what is Power Ranger Samurai missing even though it copies the Japanese version almost verbatim? I'd say it's the soul. That's not to say all English versions of Japanese shows are automatically bad. On the contrary, in fact the original Power Ranger series was great, it was creative with the Japanese footage. I will give PRS props for one thing though and that's the fact they brought Bulk back.
Unfortunately he's without his co-hort, Skull. Seeing a Bulk without a Skull is just...sad...
Oh well, later...