I was recently lucky to find all fifty episodes of Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, the series that started America's Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. I have always been told that the Japanese version had a better story than the American. So I embarked on a 6 month quest to find to either a DVD set or a steaming community.
When it came to America we of course took our scissors and cut the heck out of the series. We also added a bunch of new stuff such as Zordon, Alpha and teenagers with attitude. When I was younger I of course had no problem with how corny it was, how the picture quality would change when they 'morphed', or how they would be in one place and then be somewhere completely different a second later. The story was very simple too, a witch named Rita escaped her prison after ten thousand years and begins trying to destroy planet earth. And all that stands in her way is a group of teenage superheroes. When Rita's monsters seemed to be defeated, she would cast down her staff and make it grow. Then the Rangers would have to call on their powerful Zords, large dinosaur themed robotic beasts, to help and form the Megazord to banish the monster for good.
However, the original story was deeper and had more plot twists. Five young warriors from an ancient civilization of Dinosaur-evolved Humans are awakened during the present day after 170 million years of suspended animation. This is in reaction to their sworn enemy, Bandora the Witch, being inadvertently released from her magical container on Planet Nemesis by two astronauts. The five warriors, the Zyurangers, must summon the power of deities known as Guardian Beasts, each modeled after a different prehistoric beast, and form Daizyujin in order to protect mankind from Bandora's evil forces. A sixth warrior, Burai the Dragon Ranger, later becomes involved with the conflict between the Zyurangers and Bandora.
It is revealed that Burai followed the Zyurangers into suspended animation to seek revenge on Geki, the red ranger and his younger brother. He believed that Geki was responsible for the death of his family. This is because they had been separated when Geki was a baby. Though he was raised by the King and Queen of the Yamato Tribe, he was adopted by them after his birth father rebelled against the Yamato King and was forced to give Geki up for adoption as punishment for his insubordination. His birth father used this as an opportunity to challenge the King and reclaim Geki, only to be killed by the King. But the two resolve their differences and eventually fight along side one another. Later in the series the Zyurangers discover that Burai actually died while he was frozen and was brought back to life at the request of Daizyujin. Burai only has a short amount of time before he must return to the land of the dead, and has to stay in a magical room void of time. But every time he leaves it burns down a candle that measures his time left. Eventually Burai runs out of time, but before he leaves he passes his powers onto Geki.
Wow, what a difference, and I think I still left some things out. To close, I am truly happy I was able to watch this series, it was so much better then what I was subjected to as a child. I feel as though I was cheated, I would have gladly watched this much story and thought put into my programming. Though as my Fiancee and I watched we could not help but recall the different scenes that we remember from our younger days. And could not help but insert the hilariously bad dubbing.