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Power Rangers is an American live action children’s TV series and merchandising franchise centered around a group of teenagers who take it on as their duty to protect the humanity from evil forces by morphing into superheroes in color-coded, skintight battle suits and fighting various monsters.
Each entry tells a story about a team of five people, who are the only line of defense against an invading force of monsters, who are bent on either conquering or destroying Earth. The team fights the monsters by transforming into color-coded uniforms (either through technological or mystical means) and use both martial arts and powerful weaponry to defeat the “monster of the week”. It would then grow to gigantic sizes, forcing the team to summon their giant machines (in Japan known as “mecha”, in the West as “Zords”) which take forms of either vehicles or beast, sometimes both. Then they combine into one, giant humanoid robot and defeat the monster. While each series follow this basic premise, each one of them have different tones, themes, values and morals.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
In 1993, Haim Saban produced the first installment of the Power Rangers franchise by dubbing the action sequences from 1992’s Super Sentai series, Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger and filming new footage with American actors for the story sequences, thus creating Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. It was extremely succesful, even getting dubbed and released in Japan, where the most of the footage came. This trend continues to this day, with each successive Super Sentai show being the source of the action sequences to its “corresponding” Power Rangers series.
With the commercial success of the Power Rangers worldwide, there was a major shift in the TV industries. Saban attempted to replicate it by either adapting other tokusatsu shows for western audiences or create entirely new content. Among them you can find VR Troopers, Masked Rider, Big Bad Beetleborgs, The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog and Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. DiC Entrtainment also tried with Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad and Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters From Beverly Hills . Turner Entertainment and Cinar Films responded by airing an English dub of Ultra Seven, part of Tsuburaya Productions’ Ultra Series.
The website PowerRangers.com was established in December 1997 and continues to serve as the main hub site for official Power Rangers news. In September 2010, their Facebook fan page was created, which has accrued nearly 1.1 million likes as of October 2013. A Power Rangers YouTube channel launched in January 2011, gaining more than 73.6 million views and averaging approximately 72,000 views per day as of the same time period. Additionally, there are official Power Rangers accounts on Twitter and Instagram.
Due to the silly nature of the show’s premise and their popularity, Power Rangers and Super Sentai have been spoofed and parodied numerous times in various media.
Skylar Deleon’s Murder Conviction
On October 20th, 2008, Skylar Deleon, a former child actor who once starred in the TV series Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder in connection to the deaths of California resident John Jarvi and an Arizona couple. According to the court documents, Deleon fatally slit Jarvi’s and disposed his body near a roadway in Mexico after scamming $50,000 from the victim in December 2003, and in another incident almost a year later, the former actor tied an Arizona couple to the anchor of a yacht and jettisoned them into the Pacific Ocean after soliciting them for a test cruise under the pretense of wanting to buy their yacht. In April 2009, Skylar Deleon was sentenced to death for the murder of the couple.
Walter Jones’ DUI Arrest
On July 26th, 2009, Walter Jones, the former Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger actor behind Zach Taylor, the Black Ranger, was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Huntsville, Alabama. According to TMZ, Jones was subsequently booked into a local jail and eventually released after posting bail.
Yasutomo Ihara’s Burglary Arrest
On September 8th, 2014, Yasutomo Ihara, a Japanese professional stuntman who had recurring roles as antagonists and villains in 90s tokusatsu TV series, including Power Rangers, Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, was arrested on charges of committing serial burglaries by breaking into more than 43 residential homes in Tokyo’s suburban prefecture of Saitama and stealing 8.2 million yen (appx. $77,000 USD) worth of cash and valuables.
Ricardo Medina Jr.’s Murder Arrest
On January 31st, 2015, Ricardo Medina Jr., a former child actor who has portrayed the Red Ranger in Power Rangers Wild Force and the villain character Deker in Power Rangers Samurai, was arrested and booked for murder after the actor allegedly stabbed his roommate, Joshua Sutter, to death with a sword during a fight that erupted at their residence in Los Angeles, California. Medina Jr. remains in police custody and the bail has been set at one million dollars.
Agony in Pink
Agony in Pink is a controversial fanfiction featuring characters from the series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers raping and torturing Kimberly Hart, the original Pink Ranger. After being posted to the Usenet group alt.sex.stories in November 1994, it quickly spread to other parts of the web before eventually being part of the reason Australia banned alt.sex.stories in February 2000.
Zaza is a YTMND fad involving a looped animation of the Black Ranger, played by Walter Jones, dancing (shown below). The first YTMND site was created on April 5th, 2006, placing the dancing Jones in the hatch from the 2000s television show LOST while a clip from LL Cool J’s “Control Myself” played in the background. As of October 2013, there are more than 110 search results for “Zaza” on YTMND.
“Select Your X”
Select Your X refers to a series of YTPMVs that utilize the character select theme from the Bandai’s 1996 Japanese SNES game Gekisou Sentai Carranger: Zenkai! Racer Senshi. The first instance of this fad was the video “Select your Paperweight” (shown below) which was uploaded by KYerp123 on October 14th, 2009. As of October 2013, there are more than 211,000 search results for “Select Your *” on YouTube.