First, I want to say sorry for not posting in nearly two weeks. It was the end of the school year, which is also the bussiest (I had 2 research papers and 3 finals to do). Now I'll have a little more time to dedicate to this blog, as well as create some new blogs.
It is well known that Power Rangers is based on the Japanese series Super Sentai. Sean Akizuki has even posted about Power Rangers' influence on Super Sentai, as well as Chinese influence on Super Sentai. Today, I want to talk about the other American influences on Super Sentai.
The use of the English language has been incorporated into Super Sentai as well as many other Japanese programing (anime, jdoramas, exc.). Conversational english is rarely used, however, english phrases and english catchphrases are quite common. English phrases have been used more in receent Sentai series than they were in earlier installments. Above are two Sentai characters, Gaku (Gaoyellow) and Hoji (Dekablue), who frequently used english phrases.
Some American sports figures, or characters based off of American Sports figures have been used in Super Sentai. Above is the character Pachy Bonds, who was in Episode 19 of Abaranger (this episode is parodied in the Dino Thunder episode Lost and Found in Translation). Pachy Bonds is a baseball player who is clearly based off of former San Francisco Giants slugger, Barry Bonds. Like Barry, Pachy is African American and supposedly the "home run king," like Barry Bonds was during his career. Fortunately, unlike Barry Bonds, Pachy Bonds does not take steroids :)
American TV Shows
Above is Miss America, from the 1979 Sentai series Battle Fever J. During this time, Super Sentai's owner, TOEI, had a partnership with the American company, Marvel Comics. This allowed TOEI and Marvel Comics to bring Spiderman to Japan. The Battle Fever J series, and in particular the Miss America character, was based off of the Marvel Comics character, Captain America.
Above is Jan (Gekired). To me, Jan seems to be a character that is at least partially based on the American cartoon, George of the Jungle. Before becoming Gekired, Jan lived and grew up in the forest.
American movie influences are quite numerous in several Super Sentai episodes.
Timeranger- I can't find a picture for it, but there is one scene where the timerangers are riding bicycles in the night sky with the moon in the background. That scene resembles the Steven Spielburg movie, ET.
Dekaranger- Dekaranger has several episodes with storylines similar to American movies
Above is a picture from Episode 20, which has a similar storyline to the movie Die Hard with A Vengence, which was the third installment of the Die Hard series. In this episode, the alienizer Germa Seijin Baiz Gore planted a bomb powerful enough to blow up the earth, and he made the Dekarangers play a game by sending one player running all over town to find the next hint. If he didn't make the deadline, the bomb would explode. In Die Hard with A Vengence, a criminal who calls himself Simon threatened to set off bombs around New York City if Bruce Willis's character, John McLane didn't find the next location and hints within the time limit.
Episode 26 is similar to the Rocky Balboa series. Rocky Balboa, played by Silvester Stalone, is boxing's ultimate underdog that usually starts out getting his ass kick before winning the match. In episode 26, Hoji fights the undefeated champ, Jiva, in an illegal match. The first match Jiva beats Hoji easily, but then Hoji trains for a rematch, which Hoji, the underdog, won by knockout. Above is Hoji after he won the match.
Episode 38 is similar to the movie Speed. In Speed, a bomb is planted on a bus in Los Angeles. Once the speed of the bus reaches 50 miles per hour (roughly 80 kilometers for those who are not familiar with the English measure system), the bus cannot travel under that speed or it will explode. In Episode 38, Ban and Yaako (the piglet in the bike), ride a bicycle given to them by an alienizer (unkown at the time) when Yaako becomes car sick. After Ban reaches the speed of 25 kilometers per hour (about 16 miles per hour), a bomb on the bicycle activates. If Ban's speed goes under the 25 kmh speed, the bomb will explode.
Episodes 42 and 43 are very similar to Armageddon. In episode 42 and 43, a meteor full of planet eating browgouls is headed straight for the Earth. In a pinch, similar to the Armageddon ending, Ban sacrifices himself to stop the meteor, and sends Hoji back to the earth, to make sure Hoji doesn't sacrifice himself and to make sure he's at his sister's wedding. In the Armageddon movie, A.J. (played by Ben Affleck), was suppose to sacrifice himself to destroy an asteroid heading for earth. At the last minute, Harry (played by Bruce Willis), sends A.J. back to the ship, and thus back to earth, and sacrifices himself so A.J. could marry his daughter. The only difference is unlike Armaggedon, Ban didn't die.
Magiranger- Magiranger had a magic motif. At the time, TOEI and Super Sentai were trying to capitalize on the success of magic themed American made movies, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, which in turn were based off of British books.
Boukenger- Boukenger had an adventure motif, similar to the Indiana Jones series. The Boukengers looked for treasures called "precous" to keep them away from evil villans. This is also similar to Indiana Jones which tried to keep certain "treasures" away from certain agencies or governments, such as Nazi Germany.