Amit Bhaumik's Blog-mik

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Apr 7

I'm curious: Do you know/think there is any sort of rivalry between those who develop Sentai shows at Toei and the people at Saban who make Power Rangers? Reading your latest blog about adapting different elements, it seems almost like a game of "can you top (or rather, adapt) this?" when it comes to making something like PR Samurai. After all, they surely know that it's likely to be adapted, right? But then they'll sometimes make things heavily Japanese-oriented anyway.

I don’t think Toei lets the idea that their show will be adapted for overseas affect their creative process at all.  They make the show they want.  Because their audience is largely within Japan, sometimes there might be something very culturally Japanese in the show that is perfectly ordinary for their audiences but might come across as confusing or maybe just not as marketable for US audiences.

One of the clearest examples is, of course, Shinkenger/Samurai with Japanese symbols on their helmets.  It’s a minor miracle that it got to keep the word Samurai instead of using some culturally-neutral name like ‘Warriors’ or something.

A bigger challenge from Shinkenger was the presence of swastikas in some of the footage.  Throughout Asia in countries with strong Buddhist or Hindu influences, it is not uncommon to see swastikas in public (a practice dating back thousands of years with no connection to Nazis or racism) but in the west since about the 1930s it has usually been thought of as having to do with Nazis and racism or anti-semitism and its display is even banned in some countries in Europe.  Needless to say this required some alterations for the US version.

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Goseiger also ran into trouble with the US adaptation with its angel symbols and themes.  Angels don’t carry as much of a religious connotation in Japan as it might for some in the US.  Saban worried angels would be an alienating religious concept for American audiences prompting the creation of the more generic name for the season Megaforce (yet ironically still keeping all of the angel imagery).

There certainly is no rivalry between Toei and Saban as that would imply there is some parity between the two shows they make when one exists because of the other.  One company makes the show they want, the other makes the show they can.

Power Rangers Cyber Corps (aka Power Rangers 21)

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From the archives comes the third and final installment of my trilogy of ultimately unused Power Rangers pitches (see part 1 and part 2).  Having grown up watching the show as a kid, eventually coming to work on the show, becoming its head writer, leaving it and coming back (a few times now), I developed a unique insight into this long-running series which got me sucked back into the show’s orbit like Michael Corleone more times than is probably healthy.  Having left the show for good (again), my notes on how to adapt Go-Busters for Power Rangers have sat around unused for over a year gathering dust.  With the recent announcement that the Go-Busters season will be skipped in the US, I thought I’d brush them off and share them here.  Grab a seat and buckle your seat belts because this one gets a little crazy.  Here is a glimpse into what might have been with my final unused story for Power Rangers…

(Link to part 1 of this can be found here.)

The year is 2015.  The place is ETERNITY CITY.

Eternity City is a thriving metropolis of the Power Rangers universe not unlike the cities of past seasons.  There are parks, schools, malls, gyms and juice bars just like the sort of cities previous Power Rangers seasons took place in.  One big exception is the several towering ENERGRID TOWERS scattered across the metropolis.  The Energrid Towers are essentially power plants, providing virtually limitless, clean energy to the people of Eternity City and powering the city’s defenses.

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What if the Oscar statue could tell us what he thought of this year’s nominees?  And what if he was wasted?  It’s the return of Oscar Buzzed!

Notes on Go-Busters: On Lost Adaptations and Lost Continuity

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Was it surprising or unsurprising when it was recently announced that the Go-Busters season of Sentai will be skipped for adaptation as a season of Power Rangers?  What missed opportunities were there in not adding Go-Busters to this long-running series that has somehow continued to 20+ seasons of worldwide popularity, often in spite of itself?

Go-Busters was far above average source material for adaptation so skipping it would seem to be a curious choice (depending on how you see it).  Perhaps this Sentai season seemed even more different than your average season, and any change to formula no matter how miniscule can be intimidating for some.  For better or for worse, at least Go-Busters can now enter the Sentai annals alongside DaiRanger as a relatively untouched season of Sentai - its purity preserved from foreign adaptation.

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1973-2013.

1973-2013.