Power Rangers turned 25 last month, but the series it owes its existence to—Toei’s tokustatsu icon Super Sentai—has been around since 1975. Ever wondered what it took to turn Spandex-clad Japanese heroes into all-American Power Rangers? Here’s a handy video guide to the secret behind every Power Rangers show.
[Full disclosure: the Power Rangers franchise was created, and previously owned, by Haim Saban, who has ownership interest in Univision Communications, which itself currently owns Gizmodo Media Group, the network of websites io9 is part of.]
As you probably know by now, the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers liberally used action footage from Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, the 16th official entry in Toei’s long-running Super Sentai series, which has been releasing yearly shows since Himitsu Sentai Gorenger kicked it all off back in the mid-‘70s. Several attempts had been made to bring Sentai over to the U.S. before Power Rangers—Marvel icon Stan Lee tried as part of a deal that lead to the creation of the cult classic Japanese Spider-Man show—even by Haim Saban himself, before Saban Entertainment eventually struck gold with Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
Taking the in-costume action sequences of Zyuranger while lopping off the Japanese story to replace with newly-shot footage featuring the teens with attitude we’ve come to know and love, Power Rangers’ writers found themselves having to find clever ways to blend Japan and American-made superhero action into a cohesive whole, as you can see in the video above. It’s a tradition that still persists today, with the upcoming Power Rangers Beast Morphers—the first series under Hasbro’s new ownership of the franchise—which borrows footage from 2012's Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters. So remember the next time you catch the Rangers on TV—you’re getting a little taste of a whole other universe of superheroes from Japan’s shores.
This video was created by Hodges Usry. You can see more of his videos here.