DVD Review- Super Sentai Zyuranger: The Complete Series
Distributor: Shout! Factory
Street Date: February 17th 2015
Technical Specifications: 480P Video, Color, 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo, English Subtitles
Runtime: 16+ Hours
I was 10 years old when Mighty Morphin Power Rangers came onto the American television scene. Of course at that age I had no idea that much of the show was, in fact, stock footage from a Japanese series called Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. Not that I really cared at the time. I remember feeling a bit “too old” for the show in 5th Grade, and only really came to appreciate the subsequent series and installments in the last couple of years as the current Super Megaforce show (and now Dino Charge) have become my four year old son’s favorite thing in the Universe. Enjoying the show through the eyes of a 4-year-old has opened my eyes to the relatively simple genius behind the structure of the series: a team of youths with super abilities, in super suits, fighting super villains. It’s about as basic as it gets, yet the show has endured for over twenty years now here in the states. The original Japanese Tokusatsu series (re-titled here as Super Sentai Zyuranger) is an absolute blast, and Mighty Morphin fans will recognize the majority of the battle scenes having been recycled for the U.S. series.
In the show, two astronauts (with astro-kids in tow) inadvertently release Bandora the Witch (Machiko Soga) from her capsule on Planet Nemesis. After Bandora returns to taunt the people of Earth, five ancient warriors (evolved from Dinosaurs) are released from suspended animation to save the world from her evil clutches. The big difference fans unaware of this original incarnation will notice is said backstory, with the ancient warriors harnessing the power of dinosaurs rather than the “five teenagers with attitude” we’re accustomed to.
Super Sentai Zyuranger is a rather typical Tokusatsu series, full of goofy over-the-top antics, monsters, super powers, and the token “final” battle that concludes nearly every episode. It’s all harmless fun for kids (and the kid in all of us) and should easily please fans of series like Ultra Q, Ultraman, and Gamera. It’s easy to see how Haim Saban thought that a retooled version of the show could be a success here in the states. Super Sentai Zyuranger is a goofy and fun Japanese series that will especially be appreciated by American fans of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and comes easily recommended to own on home video from Shout! Factory.
The video quality on this Complete Series DVD set is a mostly solid affair, especially given the show’s budget constraints and source elements. There are some anomalies (dirt, debris, speckles) on select episodes that likely could have been cleaned up a bit, but nevertheless, I’m pleased with the results overall. Colors range from bright and bold to a tad muted, again, depending on the episode. This is about as good as the show is ever likely to look and I’m sure the niche audience reach didn’t necessarily demand a High Definition release at this time.
The 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio track included herein sounds pretty good with dialogue, music, and action effects all coming through clean and clear with only the occasional hiccup during transitional shots. The original Japanese audio is presented unaltered and English subtitles are included.
Shout! Factory has provided fans of Super Sentai Zyuranger with a sole Q & A panel as part of this DVD release. Here’s a breakdown of what’s included:
- Power Progenitors: Super Sentai Zyuranger Power Morphicon 2014 Panel– This nearly 30-minute panel features the three stars of the series (Yuuta Mochizuki, Hiroshi Maeda, and Yasuhiro Takeuchi) discussing the show for fans at Power Morphicon in Pasadena, California in 2014. It’s not the liveliest of panels but its fun to see the stars of the show discuss the beloved series with fans.
As you can see from the “Unboxing” pictures below, this DVD edition from Shout! Factory features some fun artwork with the Zyuranger warriors, Japanese & English type, and some familiar “Ranger” lineups on the bottom. On the reverse of the packaging you’ll find a quick series synopsis, a listing of the technical specifications and bonus feature, and production stills from the show. On the interior of the packaging are all 10 DVD discs and some truly fun production stills and disc artwork. Well done!
Super Sentai Zyuranger is an absolute blast! Though it’s a rather typical Tokusatsu series, the show is full of goofy over-the-top antics and some fun fight scenes that will be familiar to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fans. It’s all harmless fun for the kids (and the kid in all of us) that should easily please fans of the series. The Complete Series DVD set features mostly solid video that is only occasionally marred by some video anomalies and audio that works well for the show. The lone special feature panel from Power Morphicon 2014 may not be much but it’s engaging for fans of the series to hear from the cast of the original show. Super Sentai Zyuranger is a goofy and fun Japanese series that will especially be appreciated by American fans of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and comes easily recommended to own on home video from Shout! Factory.
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