The New Japanese Power Rangers Series Sounds Delightfully Bonkers

Image via Tokunation
Image via Tokunation

Next year, Power Rangers will grace our screens with both a big new movie and a new TV series, featuring Power Rangers ninjas (and, as previously discussed, a cowboy ninja). But not even that can match the complete and utter insanity that its Japanese counterpart is cooking up for its new season.


Traditionally, Super Sentai shows—the superhero series that Power Rangers borrows its action footage and costume designs from—only last for a year before they’re replaced by a new team and new premise, and next year is the turn of the 41st Sentai series, Uchu Sentai Kyuranger. Unlike Power Rangers, which has dabbled with space-based themes in several series, it’s the first time a Sentai show has directly used space—or, specifically, star signs and constellations—as a theme. That’s cool enough, but new details about the show have started to appear recently in Japanese magazines that make the Kyuranger team sound absolutely crazy.

First up, there’s nine of them—which is a lot of characters, when typically a Sentai starts out with three or five members, and adds one or two more over the course of its run. (That’s not always the case though: Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, adapted as the most recent Power Rangers show, Dino Charge, had 10 rangers by the end.) But just read these damn descriptions of each main character, courtesy of the folks over at Tokunation:

  • Shishi Red is said to be “born lucky,” which gives him special guidance in fights. He is called The Very Lucky Greatest Star!
  • Ookami Blue is a Jyujin (literally “BeastMan”) who specializes in “wild” combat. He is nicknamed The Space Wolf.
  • Oushi Black is a robot, built for wrestling. His title is Raging Bull Wrestler!
  • Tenbin Gold is an android nicknamed The Mechaman with the power to control other machines.
  • Hebitsuki Silver is an alien with a special power to paralyze opponents- earning him the moniker Psychic Guy.
  • Sasori Orange is a veteran warrior who uses poisonous techniques- earning him a reputation as The Stinger Soldier.
  • Chameleon Green is a ninja-alien who can change her body colors to hide in plain sight. She is called The Surprise Ninja.
  • Washi Pink is an android designed with enhanced speed & flight capabilities, nicknamed The Super Flying Warrior!
  • Kajiki Yellow is a chef, and fights chiefly with blade weapons. He’s been labeled The Finishing Move Chef!

Only three of them are humans—there’s three aliens and three robots on top of that. One of them is a “Psychic Guy.” One of them is a bull-themed robot wrestler. The blue ranger is a wolf alien! The orange one has a scorpion tail! In the face of all that, the yellow ranger’s defining trait is that he’s a goddamn chef! And they all team up to save the Earth from alien invasion as brightly costumed superheroes!

The translation from Super Sentai to Power Rangers series, more often than not, fundamentally alters the story and context in the process—some series can be more faithful to their respective Sentai than others. Sometimes, they don’t get adapted at all. But for the love of all that is holy, I hope Saban eventually gets round to turning Kyuranger into a Power Rangers show, and keeps at least a bit of its completely batshit premise.


James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!


O's, Poes and Bohs

They’re gonna skip it like Go-Busters and Tokyyuger I’m sure. Either that, or it’ll be Zyuohger as the sacrificial lamb.

Because Nickelodeon mandates that the 40 episodes for each team be spread over two years, Saban has to skip a series here and there or risk what I call VR Troopers Syndrome, named for the old syndicated series made from three different Uchuu Keiji shows. The problem that show faced was that all its sources were old as dirt, so any suits they wanted to use had to be re-fabricated (poorly) or they had to shoot/edit creatively (to mixed results) to hide the fact the suits had long since disintegrated. Masked Rider faced the same problem. While Toei’s HD footage looks real nice now, they don’t keep all the monster suits and such in storage forever.