Before the Power Rangers…there was death and madness.
“Huh. What’s this?!” I ask myself as I scroll though the DVD request list. Super Sentai sounded interesting. Rudimentary research revealed that this was the original Japanese show that inspired the Power Rangers.
My interest dimmed. Not sure if I wanted to deal with the same syrupy inanity just with subtitles. But someone had to take a crack at this, so it might as well be me.
Allow me to take a moment to thank my gut instinct because, friends, Super Sentai is as deranged and bewildering as anything I have ever seen. There is death and despair and demons — and this is a kid’s show!
You’ll recognize the costumes. The different colored “Rangers” are here, outfitted in their iconic spandex wielding swords and laser blasters and calling upon their plastic Zords to descend upon Earth to do battle with a variety of horrors. But it’s the connective tissue that makes Super Sentai so gleefully horrifying. The first disc alone features untold terrors, including, but not limited to:
A tentacle monster that burrows in the ground and snatches up children and literally eats them. As is drags a kids into its hole, devours it and vomits out its clothes and backpack.
Or the basketball demon that throws rubber masks on children, then exports them to an abandoned warehouse where three leather-clad villains watch with diabolical joy as a cloaked man in a cheap hockey mask winds up with a scythe to decapitate them.
How about a creep who rollerskates in the middle-of-the-night, teleports into children’s bedrooms, transforms into a monster made of keys, opens up the child’s chest and steals their souls? Sound fun? You bet it does!
Again, that’s just the first handful of episodes. There are many, many more that lie ahead on many, many more discs, but I couldn’t live with myself if I spoiled it for you.
Shout Factory’s weighty set is all feature: full frame, 2.0 stereo (Japanese with English subtitles) and that’s it.
If imbibing pure Japanese insanity masquerading as children’s entertainment sounds like something in your wheelhouse, then I urge you to purse Super Sentai. They may look like Power Rangers, but this is about as far away from the saccharine crap that aired in the ’90s. Go forth and have your mind blown.
Not Guilty. Go go…insane.