Henshin Justice UnlimitedTokusatsu - For Great Justice! Fire up your giant robot, get your changer ready, and strike a pose! Here's were we jam on Sentai, Kamen Rider and other Super Entertainment from the Land of the Rising Sun.
I'm still developing my "Toku Advisor" webseries and the reason I decided to do this show in the first place was that, while it gives me an exposure to all these shows such as Super Sentai and Kamen Rider that I hear all about, I can also compare the original source material to American adaptations(Sentai to Power Rangers, Kamen Rider Black RX to Masked Rider, shows used for Beetleborgs and VR Troopers, etc.) since Lewis Lovhaug(AKA "Linkara") doesn't do that for his "History of Power Rangers" series which I for one don't like.
However, since I watched Power Rangers first and then start to watch Sentai, I feel like if I review something from America first it might cloud my judgement for the original show in Japan like I think it will be better. So, I'm going to best try to review the season while comparing it along the way.
But my question is, when comparing something like Sentai to Power Rangers(and many other shows for that matter), what are some of the things that should always be compared? What should I be looking for in both seasons to compare? And also, how should I approach comparing both of these separate franchises but both uses the same footage?
Linkara is a Power Rangers fan, not a Super Sentai fan. He wants to judge Power Rangers on its own merits. If you don't want a show or its counterpart to cloud your judgement, then try not to develop a personal bias. Just keep an open mind and let each show speak for itself. Keep in mind that a Japanese show is trying to appeal to a Japanese audience, while a Western show is trying to appeal to a Western audience.
The only time you need to bring up the fact that a show is an adaption is if you feel like the plot of the adaption works against the footage available. When Power Rangers started using DaiRanger footage, they had to reverse-engineer a lot of the footage because the 5 main members of the team were still wearing the ZyuRanger outfits. When they introduced the Alien Rangers, they had to do the same thing because the plot required the Rangers to stay hydrated.
If an adaption directly mirrors its source material, then there is room for a more direct comparison. However, don't get hung up on just the comparison. Try to see if one accomplishes its story better than the other, and be ready to explain why. There is nothing wrong with calling a show or an adaption bad, but be ready to explain why the story is bad, don't call it bad "just because it's adaption" or "just because you prefer one over the other".
And be aware that some shows may require more research and understanding than a one sided comparison can accomplish. If you are going to compare Shinkenger to Samurai, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the historic samurai class of warriors, because the samurai class is an iconic piece of Japanese history. It may be a kids show, but when it comes to any kind of show about samurais, a Japanese audience will expect to see something different than what a Western audience will expect to see. Many western and American audiences wouldn't know samurais from ninjas, let alone their cultural relevance to Japan. (Kind of explains why Samurai Jack was pretty much just a hack-and-slash hero in a white robe)
Okay then, but what about for Power Rangers seasons that are almost very alike(examples: Wild Force and Samurai)?
How should I go at reviewing both a Sentai and PR season that's very alike? I mean, should I just explain the differences between each show and talk about whether which one is good or bad?
Some of the ones I've seen first hand include
MMPR Season 1...Power Punks episode...let's just say Blue and Pink were a bit more hardcore in Zyu
MMPR Season 3...The "Tommy is a Glutton" episode...Kakuranger did something like that (PS: Debut of Tsuruhime Burger )
The grandmother episode from PRiS (Megaranger did something similar forgot which episode)
Ninja Storm...where Dustin befriend Marah...in the Hurricanger version...you got to see Nao Nagasawa's character go nuts. (If there is anything involving grunts and a tanto knife...the grunts will always lose)
I can tell you now that a lot of elements from Time Force and Wild Force were "faithful" to the source material abeit some tweaks that didn't occur in the original or was taken out for obvious reasons.
Actually, be careful, sometimes you have to watch episodes side by side because even though the same footage is used, the episode story itself can differ between the original and the adapt.
Let me turn this around a bit: why do you want to compare the adaptation and the original? What about the comparison do you think is valuable? After all, it's gonna be your show, and ultimately you'll be the one doing everything.
I think in any such comparison, one or the other show has to take primacy. Like, you can do it as "Here is what the Sentai is like, here is what PR changed" or "Here is what the PR season is like, here's all the stuff from the Sentai season that was different/cut."
I kinda get the feeling that what you really want to do is the latter, which is why Samurai and Wild Force appear to be stumpers. But I would say that even in those two seasons, if you looked closely, you'd probably find that a lot of things about the Sentai got left on the cutting room floor.