Friday, February 18, 2011
How Dekaranger and SPD Handled Criminals Differently
In Dekaranger its Power Rangers counterpart, SPD, both series are based around police academies. This involved the MOTW being the criminal of the week, and having to do police work to capture and/or punish criminals. There's been some controversy between fans of each series on how each show carried out the punishment.
In both shows they would ask a higher court on their morphers to pass judgement on the criminals. In Dekaranger, a guilty verdict usually meant that the criminal was to be "deleted," basically the death penalty. In SPD, a criminal would just simply be contained, usually in something that looks more like your average baseball card. Some Power Ranger fans have called Dekaranger's method of deleting the fugatives to be "disturbing," especially for a kids show. While often Dekaranger fans will accuse SPD's method of simply containing the criminals as watering down the source material.
Personally, I see nothing wrong with how Dekaranger handled the execution of fugatives on their show. The death penalty is legal in Japan, as it is in most U.S. states. Furthermore, it's not like they're deleting simple bank robbers. Every criminal they deleted in some way or form either committed mass murder and/or destroyed multiple planets. When they would face an alienizer who committed a lesser offense (like Kasasu in episode 6, who simply destroyed cars) they would simply contain them instead of deleting them. Furthermore, the arguement doesn't hold firm that this shouldn't be on a kids show. Dekaranger is a Japanese kids show, and in Japan they have a greater acceptance of violence being shown on kids shows. It also really has done nothing to influence crime in Japan, which has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Thus also disproving that American misconceptions and phobias about violence on TV (and video games for that matter) leading to crime among the youth. Super Sentai has had much more violent seasons than Dekaranger (especially Jetman, Dairanger, and Timeranger).
As for how SPD handled their containment of criminals, I do kinda agree that it looks a little bit ridiculous to just contain them in baseball cards, especially since destroying monsters in every other season except for Time Force is the norm. However, from what I understand this was also forced upon them by Disney, which is nothing new since Disney tries to water down just about every series or movie to make it appealing to young audiences. So while it does look funny, especially after blowing them up, you can't blame the producers of SPD since they were forced to do this by Disney. Had Saban been in charge of SPD, it may have been different, but that is an "if."