Zyuranger vs. Power Rangers: The DragonRanger saga — Pt. 1

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.

Part 2

Part 3

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2 Responses to “Zyuranger vs. Power Rangers: The DragonRanger saga — Pt. 1”

  1. […] Part 1 Posted by triumshockwave Filed in Japan, Sci Fi, Television, Tokusatsu […]

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