Monday, 31 December 2012

Christmas Day and Power Rangers

I was working at our Shinsaibashi school on the 25th, and when I finished me and another teacher decided to go and grab a couple of drinks.  The same as always, Christmas Day in Japan had passed with little fanfare so we wanted to try and bring ourselves a bit of Christmas cheer, and as we're both poor, we decided on Saizeriya, mainly for their 100 yen glasses of wine.  We ordered a bit of food as well and chatted nostalgically. We're both British and always enjoy a chinwag about the good old days. Mighty Max, Power Rangers etc.

I've been reading about Power Rangers quite a bit lately after a podcast I listen to had an interview with Bulk and Skull.  On the podcast they talked about a lot of the backstage stuff that went on during the filming of the show, and Bulk mentioned his interesting theory about how Japan's popular culture is so wacky because of the atomic bombs dropped on it during the Second World War.

When I was a kid, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was pretty much my favourite thing. I wasn't really allowed to watch it by my parents because of its violent content, but that made me love it even more. I had the figures, the comics, and I remember my friend had the game for the Mega Drive - a Power Rangers beat 'em up was literally the best game when you were a kid in the 90s.

Thinking back, Power Rangers may have helped shape a lot of my interests and tendencies. Maybe Power Rangers is one of the reasons I'm so interested in American culture, blazing, overdriven rock music (the theme was my favourite song as a kid, and I remember it being released on cassette), and maybe even my interest in Japan came from Power Rangers somehow. Back then no kid knew that a lot of the show's footage was taken from Super Sentai, but it's pretty much common knowledge now. I read recently that the US version of the show was so popular that its creator, Haim Saban commissioned the Japanese production company to make even more footage especially for use in the US show. Also, one of my most vivid childhood memories is Jason, Zach and Trini leaving the show during the second series - I was distraught. Recently I read that they were written out because they demanded wages which the studio wasn't prepared to pay... 

Power Rangers is a phenomenon that's still going strong to this day, and so is Super Sentai - I often see promotions and advertisements for the show here in Japan - but Mighty Morphin was the first and best series of the whole franchise and one of the greatest things about growing up in the 90s. 

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