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Archive for July 18th, 2012

by Jaime Grijalba.

a.k.a. Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie

(Japan, 64 min.)

As a child, one of my favorite TV shows was one silly, cheap-looking and badly-acted kid series called “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”. It was a silly show that even to this day I’m not even sure what appealed to me (I wasn’t a kid that liked the Transformers cartoons besides those made in 3D animation… ‘Beast Wars’ I think it was called), it featured explosions and big robots that fought with rubber suited monsters from the silliest and wildest of our imaginations. The bad guys were monsters based on the predicaments or the lesson that the show tried to hammer into our fragile minds in a daily (at least in the schedule that followed my country, we got the show every single day, monday to friday, on the afternoon, just after school) basis. Obviously, it was just many many years later and after shrugging the series as a bunch of badly acted stunts mixed with some nice special effects, transformation sequences and a crazy assortment of characters, that the thing that I was seeing was just a diminished and changed version of something that may be of greater interest to me right now. Toei, a japanese production house famous for its sci fi and fantasy material, turned what would be one of the most profitable ideas in the history of kids television: the super sentai, five normal high-school kids (that look like they should be in college) one day receive the power of certain kind of animals or elements or whatever, from space, and they can transform and fight the bad guys that come in a weekly basis to try and destroy the world, they were called the SUPER SENTAI, and they were exactly the same as the POWER RANGERS. When I learned that I noticed that all the sillyness and bad acting from my childish days may have been probably not fault of the original product, but of the americanization and posterior conversion and plastering of bad ideas that we are so used to have whenever something foreign tries to get into the United States of America. So, when I was seeing the good bits, the fights of the power rangers and the rubber suited baddies, I was seeing unedited fights made by japanese guys from the original super sentai series (dubbed, but who cares), and when I was watching bad american actors, I was seeing reshoots of similar (or maybe entirely different, who can really tell unless you watch them back-to-back) scenes done originally with japanese actors and scenery. So, after many years of thinking about that, along comes an opportunity to finally see if the sillyness comes from the americanization or if it is an imbedded thing into the DNA of what a Sentai series should be, with a feature-lenght movie released on theaters based on the latest installment of the Super Sentai series. My body and mind were ready, so I clicked play and watched. (more…)

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