October 13, 2008
MMPR 1×21 “Breaking the Spell”
Roughly corresponds to Zyuranger 21 “The Shugozyu’s Big Rampage” and Zyuranger 22 “Combine! Gouryuujin”
The Power Rangers head off to find and confront Tommy about being the Green Ranger. Kimberly finds him working out at the Youth Center. Upon being informed they know who he is, Tommy responds by addressing Kimberly as the Pink Ranger and threatening to destroy them all. Rita decides this is the time to finally summon the Green Ranger’s personal Zord, DragonZord. Tommy as the Green Ranger has DragonZord start to destroy Angel Grove. The Rangers morph, but can’t do anything to stop the DragonZord. Alpha finally reestablishes contact with Zordon, who revives the Zords. Now able to fight, the Ranger attack DragonZord with Tyrannosaurus and eventually MegaZord. When the DragonZord is defeated, Jason duels Tommy on the ground, eventually knocking the Sword of Darkness and Dragon Dagger from his hands. Jason shoots the Sword of Darkness, destroying it and breaking Rita’s hold on Tommy. The newly freed Tommy is confused as to what he should do, but Jason convinces him to use the Green Ranger’s powers for good. Zordon then demonstrates how the DragonZord, Mastodon, Triceratops and Saber-toothed Tiger can combine into DragonZord Fighting Mode.
The Zyurangers mourn the loss of the Shugozyu, and Geki takes off by himself. Up on the moon, Bandora is holding a victory celebration. In the midst of the party, Burai slinks up and attampts to assassinate her. Bandora shows off her true power and casts Burai down to Earth. Burai comes to in a forest and is met by a strange entity in a white hooded cloak. She takes Burai to a strange room with a green candle, telling him it represents the remainder of his life span which is only 30 hours. As long as Burai stays in this “lapseless room”, his lifespan will not decrease. She then gives him a dagger, the Zyusouken and tells him something will happen if he plays the flute built into it. In disbelief over his finite life, Burai uses the Zyusouken to teleport back to Tokyo and begins to play it. Summoned by the Zyusouken, Burai’s own Shugozyu Dragon Caesar rises from the bay and begins to rampage through the city. Burai is delighted and continues to egg Dragon Caesar on. The Zyurangers are shocked to see a Shugozyu causing such destruction and rush out to stop it. There they find Geki attempting to help the people injured by Dragon Caesar. Witnessing the people he’s hurting, Geki finally resolves to fight Burai. The Zyurangers transform and confront Burai, but are powerless before Dragon Caesar. Not to be shown up by Burai, Bandora sends Grifforzer and Lamie Scorpion to fight Dragon Caesar. Meanwhile, Barza is attempting to revive the other Shugozyu.
The Zyurangers look on as Dragon Caesar clashes with Grifforzer and Lamie Scorpion with the city caught in the middle while Barza continues his efforts. Suddenly, the Earth begins to shake violently, and the Zyurangers transformation is canceled as their energy streaks away on its own. The energy goes into the pit where the Shugozyu fell, reviving them. Bandora has Grifforzer and Lamie retreat. Burai orders Dragon Caesar to go after the other Shugozyu to prove it is the ultimate Shugozyu. Tyrannosaurus decides to settle with Dragon Caesar one-on-one while Geki and Burai do the same on the ground. Both Tyrannosaurus and Geki get the upper hand on their opponents and Burai’s transformation is canceled. The Shugozyu combine into Daizyujin and viciously attack Dragon Caesar, then demand Geki finish off Burai. Geki, however can’t kill his brother and turns his back. Burai grabs his sword and moves to kill Geki, but hesitates. Geki insists Burai kill him if it will end the hatred, but Burai can’t kill him either. Burai drops to his knees and begs forgiveness, his tears causing the Sword of Hellfriede to dissolve. With the madness produced by the sword gone, Burai isn’t sure what to do now. Geki offers to have Burai fight alongside the Zyurangers, and Burai accepts. The Shugozyu have Burai summon Dragon Caesar with the Zyusouken again and demonstrate how Caesar, Mammoth, Triceratops and Tiger can combine into Gouryuujin. However, immediately afterward, Burai returns exhausted to the lapseless room. The puzzled Zyurangers look around for him, but he’s nowhere to be found.
What came from Zyuranger?
Obviously, since this went from two episodes down to one, there was a lot of stuff skipped.
The party in Bandora’s palace is shown, though Burai’s assassination attempt is cut out. Interestingly though, some of the POV shots as he sneaks through the room past Totpat and Bukbak are used. Also, some of the shots of Bandora attacking Burai are used for Rita summoning DragonZord. In particular, a shot of her shooting red lightning from her fingertips, which was then added to DragonZord coming up through the water.
Dragon Caesar’s rampage is much shortened, mostly cutting shots of fleeing (Japanese) people. Burai spent most of the scene untransformed until the Zyurangers show up and he leaps atop DragonCaesar’s head. Thus, this is all we see of Tommy at the scene. The fight with Grifforzer and Lamie Scorpion is removed entirely. My copy of the MMPR episode does not have the shots of Dragon Caesar’s tail cutting into the buildings, though I’m pretty sure I remember them being in there before. Billy even says “Watch out for the tail.” I’m going to chalk those up as victims of the post-9/11 “don’t smash any buildings” editing. One other thing I should mention is the flute song. The song is mostly the same, but not the same performance. The MMPR version is a lower octave and slightly shortened. Also, the flute tune is repeated a lot more in Zyuranger, where it’s usually only played in MMPR when the camera is actually on the Green Ranger doing something.
The final confrontation is mostly there, just reordered. All the Zord fighting is shifted to the beginning, and shots are inserted to make it look like they combined MegaZord on purpose (again, as it has no free will). Only once MegaZord has pounded DragonZord does the ground fight start. This ends once Jason knocks the weapons out of Tommy’s hands, though Geki and Burai’s duel went on a little more. New footage was shot of Jason shooting the Sword of Darkness as the way it was destroyed in Zyuranger was not usable.
Finally, the shots of the now 6-member team posing and introducing themselves, followed by the new combination is used unaltered as far as I can tell. The only difference is Zordon introduces DragonZord Fighting Mode whereas in Zyuranger, the Shugozyu themselves introduce Gouryuujin.
Overall, it was surprising to see how little of the Sentai show is actually carried over once you start paying attention to it. They shoot all new story scenes of the characters untransformed, some new action scenes, even hauling over the Grifforzer costume to spar with Austin St. John. They even spent a fair amount of money as it’s told to have all-new fights shot once they ran out of Zyuranger footage (the infamous “Zyu 2” footage). It makes me wonder why they wouldn’t just do their own show. Are the special effects of guys slugging it out in spandex and rubber suits really that costly to do yourselves? Actually, strike that. I don’t want to imagine what Saban would have designed all on their own. At least this way I can get (more or less) Sentai mecha toys without having to sell any organs.
October 12, 2008
MMPR 1×19 “The Rescue”
Roughly Corresponds to Zyuranger 19 “Female Warrior Scorpion!”
Part 3 of MMPR’s “Green With Evil” begins as the Power Rangers continue their search for both Jason and Zordon. As Jason continues his struggle against Goldar, Kimberly is really starting to notice what an asshole Tommy is. Eventually, the Green Ranger switches with Goldar, claiming Rita wants him to finish Jason. He toys around with Jason for a while, but just before finishing him off, Billy locks onto him and teleports him out. After chatting about what happened, the Rangers rush off to fight Rita’s newest henchwoman Scorpina. They manage to survive her attack and return to look for Zordon again. The episode ends as Goldar is sent down to wreak more havoc on the city.
In Zyuranger 19, Bandora decides to awaken Lamie, Goldar’s wife who has been sleeping in suspended animation on Earth and have her look for the dinosaur eggs as part of her plan to take out Daizyujin. The dinosaur eggs have already been found by a pair of young brothers Geki meets by the sea. The boys lead the Zyurangers to their house and give them the chest with the eggs, but Lamie (in the form of a boulder) attacks them, injuring one of the boys and capturing the other. Bandora and her goons dance around the captured boy as Burai stands in the corner rolling his eyes at the spectacle. She proposes to trade the boy for the eggs. Geki leaves the coin from his Dino Buckler in the injured boy’s hands as they head off to make the exchange. Bandora of course double-crosses them and a brawl ensues over the chest. Burai even gets involved, attacking Geki who can’t transform without his coin. Eventually Bandora makes off with the eggs and makes an ominous threat to destroy Daizyujin.
What came from Zyuranger?
Very, very little of this episode’s footage was usable for Power Rangers. The episode dealt mostly with the dinosaur eggs, a plotline dropped entirely from MMPR. On top of that, Geki doesn’t transform, rendering all the Green Ranger footage useless. Only a few usable shots of the fight with Lamie are used, then the fight ends abruptly and without much explanation. The entire second battle is stricken from the Power Rangers episode. To make up for the lack of footage, a conversation in Rita’s palace at the end is actually taken from the beginning of Zyuranger episode 20, as is Grifforzer’s attack on the city.
MMPR 1×20 “Eclipsing MegaZord”
Roughly corresponds to Zyuranger 20 “Daizyujin’s Final Day”
After fixing a problem with power drain on the Command Center, the Rangers are able to head off to stop Goldar. They have a scuffle with some Putties and Scorpina before Rita comes down to talk some trash while Goldar tries to squish them. Goldar then captures a bus containing Bulk and Skull while the Green Ranger sneaks into the Command Center to set back their efforts to contact Zordon again. Rita has Goldar take the bus over to the beach so they can use it to lure the Rangers into using the Zords. Once they do, she starts causing an eclipse to cut off MegaZord’s power. The Rangers are able to save the bus, but can’t retreat in the face of Goldar and Scorpina. Alpha traps the Green Ranger long enough to scan him, but Rita teleports him away and makes him giant sized to help accost the MegaZord. Eventually the Zords lose power and are cast into a pit of lava. When the Rangers retreat to the Command Center, Alpha has the results of his scan revealing Tommy as the Green Ranger.
The Zyurangers attempt to figure out how Bandora could possibly defeat Daizyujin since it’s so powerful. Meanwhile, Bandora and her gang discuss their plans at the palace. With Lamie present, Grifforzer speaks for the first time. Burai, who is being driven mad by the Sword of Hellfriede, begins to be more insolent with her. Bandora has Grifforzer attack the city to lure the Shugozyu out. The Zyurangers fight Lamie and some Golems on the ground, hesitant to summon the Shugozyu due to Bandora’s threat. Bandora has Grifforzer capture a bus to force the Zyurangers’ hand, and they summon Daizyujin. The nature of Bandora’s threat becomes clear as an eclipse starts, greatly decreasing Daizyujin’s power. They save the bus while Grifforzer and Lamie Scorpion attack them. When they try to retreat, Bandora sends Burai in as a giant to cut them off. Daizyujin is unable to stand up to the three in its weakened state, and eventually the Shugozyu are cast into a pit of lava as the helpless Zyurangers look on.
What came from Zyuranger?
Lots more used here than from the last episode to be sure. Most of the ground fight with Lamie and the Golems, the confrontation with Bandora, and Daizyujin’s fight are used. Since there isn’t really anything to preclude it, most of the fight footage was usable. Notable is how the entire nature of the conversation in the palace was changed when it was shifted to the previous episode in MMPR. There, it was an argument over who gets to fight the Rangers next. In Zyuranger, it was mostly about how surprised they were that Grifforzer actually spoke instead of just grunting.
Next up, the big conclusion which was actually cut down from two Zyuranger episodes to a single MMPR ep.
October 11, 2008
In my travels around the Internet about a week ago, I stumbled, bass ackwards as they say, across a torrent of the entire Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger series. You may know, especially if you saw my earlier post lampooning one of the episodes, that this is the Sentai series that supplied its footage to the first season of Power Rangers. Zyuranger itself isn’t a terribly remarkable series overall in the 30+ years of Super Sentai, except for one thing. Zyuranger introduced the concept of the angsty, doesn’t-quite-fit-in Sixth Ranger. In Zyu’s case, this was Burai the DragonRanger. In Power Rangers, the introduction of Burai’s counterpart Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger, was a highly publicized event for the surprise hit series.
I had heard rumors and seen synopses of the infamous DragonRanger’s story for years, but this was my first opportunity to see the original version for myself. As it also happens, I had bought MMPR’s 5-part Green Ranger saga on iTunes a year or so ago as a way for my brother and I to kill a lazy afternoon chuckling at its low budget and overacting. But how do the two versions of the saga stand up right next to each other? Exactly how much of a Zyuranger episode actually made it into a Power Rangers episode? Since I had both versions available, I decided to find out.
There’s actually not that much of Zyu in MMPR at all, so I decided to do it from the perspective of the MMPR episodes, pointing out what was kept. Keep in mind, the Power Rangers episodes I got from iTunes are the post-9/11 edits. This means some of the cut material from the fights, especially of Dragon Caesar smashing buildings, may have originally been left in Power Rangers. So, without further ado, let’s get into it:
MMPR 1×17 “Out of Control”
Roughly Corresponds to Zyuranger 17 “The Sixth Hero”
The Power Rangers episode starts with the Angel Grove Martial Arts tournament where Tommy demonstrates for everyone — including Rita — that he can go point for point with Jason in a match. Rita decides to enlist him as the recipient of some spare Green Ranger powers she’s been holding on to for a rainy day. She has Tommy captured and infuses him with the powers, then sends him to trash the Command Center and disconnect its link to Zordon. As the Rangers sift through the remains of the Command Center. Goldar is sent down to Earth in giant form to make some trouble and lure out the Rangers. When they summon MegaZord, the Green Ranger appears, easily entering MegaZord’s cockpit as a Ranger and forces everybody out. A ground fight ensues where the Green Ranger easily bests the Power Rangers.
The Zyuranger episode is very different, and not much of its footage is used at all. Gnome’s grandson Ryota finds a green key under Gnome’s floor. Knowing this is the key to waking his friend Burai, the sixth Zyuranger, he sets out to do so. However, Gnome and Barza are determined to stop him at any cost, including trying to run him over with vehicles and even throwing grenades at him. The Zyurangers are perplexed by their behavior, and most of the episode involves everyone trying to chase down Ryota. Bandora for her part seems perfectly OK with all this, even hoping that Burai will be awakened. She sends some Golems and a giant Grifforzer at the very end to keep the Zyurangers from stopping Ryota and Burai is revived. Burai quickly makes his debut, announcing himself as a Yamato tribe prince, confounding Geki. He then attacks the Zyurangers inside Daizyujin, forcing them out, then easily beating them on the ground.
What came from Zyuranger?
For all these episodes, I won’t get into comparing all of Rita’s scenes in the palace unless there’s something in particular about them. Obviously, they come from Zyuranger. Some of them I think are actually stock from other episodes to fill in gaps, but without going scene by scene through both shows I won’t be able to sort it all out. It’s not very important.
Besides that, only a couple things are actually used from Zyuranger here. First is a couple shots of Burai’s resurrection. These are used to show Tommy receiving the powers from Rita. When he sits up on the stone slab, the man in silhouette is very clearly not Tommy.
The only other Zyuranger footage is the fight at the end. The MMPR version starts only once the Zyurangers had transformed, then quickly moves into fighting Goldar with the MegaZord. Shots showing Burai before he transformed or Gnome, Barza and Ryota are removed, but the fight is otherwise intact as far as I can tell.
MMPR 1×18 “Jason’s Battle”
Roughly corresponds to Zyuranger 18 “The Brother’s Sword of Hatred”
The second episode of MMPR’s Green Ranger saga has Rita deciding her Green Ranger could use some weapons. So, she decides to test Tommy’s worthiness by making him fight Putties. Amazingly, he actually has some trouble with this but is victorious. Rita awards him the Sword of Darkness. Tommy also captures Jason from the high school, teleporting him into another dimension where he’s forced to fight Goldar without his Power Morpher. With the other rangers perplexed about Jason’s whereabouts, Tommy takes the opportunity to attack them as the Green Ranger. The Rangers are forced to summon MegaZord to scare him off.
Zyuranger’s version begins with the Rangers questioning Barza about Burai and why he claims to be a Yamato prince. Barza explains that Geki and Burai are actually brothers, sons of the Black Knight. The infant Geki was adopted by the heirless Yamato King to punish the Black Knight. Enraged, the Black Knight attacks the Yamato King, and is cut down before Burai’s eyes. Burai trained hard to one day take his revenge, but was forced to put himself in suspended animation like the Zyurangers to finally get his chance to kill Geki as the Yamato heir. Bandora approaches Burai (while singing the famous Bandora Song) and offers him a deal. Join with her against the Zyurangers and she’ll give him the Sword of Hellfriede. Burai accepts and defeats the reanimated corpse of the sword’s last owner to obtain it. Geki confronts Burai and attempts to reason with him, but Burai just attacks and injures him. The other Zyurangers show up and fight Burai, but are beaten. Daizyujin then appears of its own will and confronts Burai. When Burai attempts to attack Daizyujin, it just reflects his attack back and Burai flees. Geki pleads to Daizyujin on behalf of his brother.
What came from Zyuranger?
The shot of Bandora, Grifforzer, Totpat and Bukbak walking over to meet Burai once they went down to Earth is used, though the singing is replaced with normal dialogue.
The fight between Burai and the Zyurangers minus Geki is used. Jason’s capture is used to explain the lack of the TyrannoRanger in this fight, and in the next episode (for a different reason, more on that later). Any shots showing the untransformed Geki are cut.
Daizyujin’s confrontation with Burai is mostly used. Shots of the Rangers’ standard summoning sequence are inserted to make it look like they summoned it on purpose as MegaZord has no free will like Daizyujin. The scene is shortened as there’s no conversation to be had between Tommy and the MegaZord, but some oddly silent gesturing does remain.
Notably not present is a sequence between Burai defeating the Zyurangers and Daizyujin appearing where he knocks Geki down a cliff and torments him some more. This was not used since Geki was in his untransformed state.
That’s about all for today. The next post will cover MMPR 1×19 & 1×20 / Zyuranger 19 & 20.
October 9, 2008
I needed to roll a quick test webserver today. The idea was to tinker with using WordPress.org to host a site containing info for our clients. All I’d need was the web service, MySQL and PHP. Cool, everything’s built into OS X Server.
I spent the better part of an hour trying to get Apple’s version working. I’d used the Web service before for basic sites or for other services that depend upon it. However, I could not get into the MySQL. I enabled the service, set a password, and turned it on. Could not figure out how to log in. Apparently there used to be a GUI tool in /Applications/Server but not anymore. Tried logging in through the Terminal, but it kept telling me the login was wrong.
So, irritated, I decided to investigate MAMP. One of our clients uses it, though I couldn’t figure out why they were using MAMP on an Xserve that already has all this stuff. After today, I have a pretty good idea. Instead of messing around with Server Admin, creating sites there, trying to get into MySQL, blah blah blah… you just drag MAMP into the Applications folder and run it.
It shouldn’t be this easy, but it is. MAMP is way more Mac-like than Apple’s own setup. You just drag the MAMP folder into /Applications and run the MAMP application. It automatically starts the servers and pops open a start page in Safari. There you find preconfigured web management tools for everything, most importantly in my case MySQL. To sweeten it even more, it’s more regularly updated than Apple’s built in builds so you always have current versions of Apache, MySQL, PHP 4 and PHP 5.
After quickly making a database, I did WordPress’s “legendary 5-minute install” and away it went. You could literally get a web server running WordPress in 15 minutes with this. Yeah, you can also install the software as independent packages, but why bother when MAMP is so easy? The only downfall I can see is that it seems the MAMP app has to run to start the services. This would mean that if the server reboots, the services may not start until someone logs in and either launches MAMP or has it launch automatically on login. Going to experiment with that and see how it works, but it’s not a big deal. Who ever reboots their Mac server anyway? 😉