It’s not exactly a well-kept secret that Power Rangers is based on another show from Japan. For the most part, Power Rangers takes all the action-scenes of the Super Sentai series, and shoots new footage with English-speaking actors around them. From the very first episode of Mighty Morphin’ onward, these new storylines can be drastically different from the Sentai source material. In this article, I’ll be posting some of the best examples of this.
5) Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger vs. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
The first season of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was based on Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. In this Super Sentai series, five warriors from five ancient tribes dedicated to specific dinosaurs are awakened after the evil witch Bandora (Rita Repulsa if ya’ nasty) returns to murder all of earth’s children. Sounds a little different from the teenagers with attitude we got, right?
Another big change from the Japanese show is the Megazord. While the individual zords are pretty much the same, the giant robot they combine into is an ancient dinosaur god the Zyurangers drive around. They even have conversations with the thing. In Mighty Morphin’, we see the Megazord in the first episode, but in Zyuranger, it doesn’t pop up until the sixth episode.
My favorite difference has to be the Green Ranger, or the Dragon Ranger. In Power Rangers, Tommy Oliver is the new kid at school Rita recruits and brainwashes into becoming her evil Green Ranger. In Zyuranger, Burai is the long lost brother of Geki, the Red Ranger. He is resurrected some time after the rest of the Zyurangers, with a raging murder-boner for his brother. You may remember (the first time) Tommy lost his powers thanks to the green candle in Power Rangers first season. In Zyuranger, once the candle runs out…their Green Ranger dies.
4) Tensou Sentai Goseiger vs. Power Rangers Megaforce
For the big 20th season of Power Rangers, Saban wanted to go back to the “teenagers with attitude” idea that started it all. In this season, a group of five teens get teleported to a command center and are met by Gosei and Tensou (this generation’s Zordon and Alpha-5). Gosei gives them the Gosei morphers, which grants them the Megaforce powers.
If this sounds pretty vague, it’s because in Tensou Sentai Goseiger, the rangers are angels. From heaven. Wings and all.
3) Gekisou Sentai Carranger vs. Power Rangers Turbo
Power Rangers Turbo was the next to last season for the “Zordon era,” which tightly connected the first six seasons of Power Rangers. Unlike its western counterpart, Super Sentai has never had a connecting story from one season to the other. Whereas Power Rangers Turbo started with a feature length movie detailing the Zeo Rangers getting new powers and starting new adventures, Gekisou Sentai Carranger was yet another fresh start for the series. That’s not all, as Carranger was actually a parody of Super Sentai. That’s right, Power Rangers Turbo’s source material is 100% comedy. While Carranger was making fun of Sentai tropes, Power Rangers Turbo season actually ends with the Rangers losing.
2) Ninja Sentai Kakuranger vs. Mighty Morphin’ Alien Rangers
“What the hell is Mighty Morphin’ Alien Rangers?” I can hear you asking from across the internet. At the end of Mighty Morphin’s third season, the rangers are turned into children, and no longer have access to their powers. To take their place while they recoup, Zordon calls in a group of rangers from the distant planet of Aquitar. These are the Alien Rangers (I hope they don’t call themselves that on their home planet). The suits and zords are taken from Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, which is about a group of (you guessed it) ninjas.
The Mighty Morphin’ rangers used the ninja motif themselves earlier in the third season, by splicing in footage of Kakuranger’s first set of zords. The shogun zords and battle borgs used by the alien rangers belonged to Kakuranger as well.
1) Engine Sentai Go-Onger vs. Power Rangers RPM
Power Rangers RPM is a post-apocalyptic adventure featuring a team of rangers fighting against a sentient computer virus that has killed 95% of the human population. Think “Power Rangers Skynet.” As dark as the show can get, there are some great moments of levity. During one episode, the creator of the Rangers weapons and zords hosts a Q&A. When the Green Ranger of the team asks why their car zords have anime eyes, she angrily shuts him down.
In Engine Sentai Go-Onger, the car zords have anime eyes because they’re alive. These cars hail from a dimension where machines all have sentience, and are fighting a losing war against sentient pollution. They select five drivers to bequeath Ranger powers to, and team up to take down the polluting kaiju. Go-Onger is very goofy and light-hearted. It’s a goddamn miracle RPM was able to make the show it was based on this footage.