Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: The 33rd Super Sentai Series!

Posted by Michael Pinto on May 4, 2009 in Japanese TV |

I kid you not — Samurai Sentai Shinkenger is the 33rd Super Sentai Series created by Toei to sell an never ending tide of toys! Since the 70s the Kamen Rider formula hasn’t changed much, but why mess with success? In fact not only has this series done well in Japan but there are still American kids buying Power Ranger toys years after that series came here in 1993 (which looks quite primitive to the special effects in Samurai Sentai Shinkenger).

Samurai Sentai Shinkenger

What interesting to me looking at this footage is that the weapons used look like actual toys — that’s sort of a line I’m not sure American companies would cross fearing the wrath of parent groups. That said there is something very honest about it, and it makes the toys that much more special for the kids.

But the real magic of the show isn’t the toys but the ability to transform and use your “secret powers” — in a way this is a very familiar mainstay of American comic books ala Superman (or even Cinderella). Although the Japanese have done a nice job making said transformations a team effort which reenforces the values of “plays well with others”. So here is our team before their super transformation:

Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: Our team before transformation...

And here is our team after their transformation ready to do battle with evil — notice that their color preferences in clothing are consistent all times:

Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: ...our team after transformation!

By the way two funny things I also noticed: While the fight scenes always seem to break out in high rise parking structures in which nobody seems to park their cars (as if they auto owners know a fight will break out after hours) and in the heat of battle our robot crew actually needs to break out a rather detailed instruction manual to figure things out (although it’s interesting that the instructions are printed on paper and not available some handy smart phone).

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