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Going ガガガ – A Tokusatsu GaGaGa Series Review

Channelling the fandom troubles of geeks and nerds everywhere, Tokusatsu GaGaGa was a series that kept us feeling gaga from start to finish.

We’ve all seen Akibaranger, right? I feel confident making that statement to the toku-watching community as a whole and, at the very least, you’ll be aware of it’s themes or those wacky GIFs of the “Powerful Rangers”.

So what if I told you that there was a show that captured the toku otaku experience even more-so than that? A show that dealt with tokusatsu as a fandom, fandom as a stigma, camaraderie, societal and familial pressures, and living up to the ideals that inspired us as children?

That show would be Tokusatsu GaGaGa; an adaptation of the Niwa Tanba manga of the same name that follows Kano Nakamura as she navigates her mid-20’s in a serious career while hiding her geekiness from her co-workers and family. It’s a very engaging story for me personally but I think it’s broader implications are what make it stand out amongst the J-Dramas aimed at people who like rubber monsters and explosions.

Simply put; Tokusatsu GaGaGa is about feeling ‘other’ in what most would define as ‘regular’ society. It’s about hiding something core to your self-identity out of fear of rejection, being ostracised by your peers, or as just being too childish, something many in the Western toku fan base has bemoaned when Power Rangers is derided in mainstream consciousness.

These themes are explored in the show in a number of different and unique ways, from metaphorical cuts to the in-show Sentai and Metal Hero series (Bestial Storm Jushowan and Emerjason, respectively), delusional instances of superheroes appearing to Kano to inspire her, or how certain characters compare experiences in differing fandoms. [Warning: Character and Plot SPOILERS AHEAD]

Lead actress Fuka Koshiba, and the rest of the cast to an extent, excel in bringing to life these relatable characters and making their respective journeys truly engaging. Kano Nakamura is a fantastic character who and the expressiveness of Fuka’s acting highlights both her dramatic and comedic elements. Frankly, I’d love to see Fuka in a proper Toei show, she’s got the chops to be a fantastic Sentai Red.

Joining Kano are “Sentai Sempai” Hisami Yoshida, an older sister-type with a fondness for butts. Her relationship with Kano is sweet and almost borders on the homoerotic sometimes and I honestly can’t tell if that’s intentional or I’m just reading too much into the long, lingering looks that they share frequently. I’m just saying, this show is already one big analogy to being LGBTQ+, I wouldn’t put it past author/directorial intent (I haven’t read the source material to confirm if it’s like that there) that it is.

There is also “Stoic Idol Fan” Yuko Kitashiro, Kano’s hard-nosed co-worker who hides a love of J-Idols The Bee Boys behind her Aubrey Plaza-esque looks. “Mr Yakuza” Masaaki Matsumoto, a crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside shop owner who feels great shame for his love of magical girl shows and “Damian” Taku Tamiya, a cram school kid who befriends Kano and acts as a mirror to Kano’s own childhood experiences. Each highlights an aspect of her personality and allow us to explore Kano’s views on life.

There are other ancillary characters who act as plot points or comic relief but the only other character of note is Fumi Nakamura, Kano’s mother. Often represented as the ever-present villain of Jushowan, Genka Shogun, Fumi is an over-bearing traditional mother who projects her values onto her daughter and much anxiety ensues. This is an experience that I’ve had and I’m sure it’s something many who love superheroes into their adulthood have had to deal though with the genre becoming more mainstream, this is being mitigated somewhat.

Kano’s arc with her mother is pretty compelling and you almost begin to sympathise with Fumi until a fateful lunch date when she goes too far and then IT IS ON. Seriously, there’s a moment in episode 6 that made me scream “Get ‘er, Kano!” as the show’s theme song (performed by Golden Bomber, whose lead singer performed Life is SHOW TIME) kicks in and it’s absolutely brilliant.

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In terms of being a tokusatsu, there’s plenty of references, homages, and production details that call back to the long history of toku in Japan. Cameos of suit actors, beloved voice actors, and the action director himself being a suit actor alumni all give this show a pedigree to rival that of any official Toei production (Toei did lend their aid to this NHK production though to what extent, I don’t know). The suits look just as good as something Toei themselves would produce and I would definitely watch an Emerjason show!

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I heartily recommend checking out Tokusatsu GaGaGa if you’re looking for something out of the usual toku shows that has a lot of heart and a genuine love for the genre. The 7 episode show was subbed by both Big Nova Subs and TV-Nihon and can be found wherever you’d usually find fan-subs.

Have you seen Tokusatsu GaGaGa? What were your thoughts on it? Let us know!

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This Week in Tokusatsu – Weeks 7 and 8, 2019

As Lupinranger Vs Patoranger comes to a close, Zi-O starts to achieve his full potential and the Super Sentai Saikyou Battle kicks off.


Lupinranger vs Patoranger Episode 51 (End)

The Lupinrangers are stuck inside Dogranio’s safe after their battle with Zamigo. Thankfully, they equipped their police counterparts before entering, knowing this could happen. On the whole, this final episode feels rushed. The battle against Dogranio is short and anticlimactic, decided quickly by a macguffin more than the skill or strength of any of the Rangers. When it’s over, Dogranio is taken into custody rather than being killed, and we flash forward a year.

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In that time, the Patorangers have become superheroes, celebrities to some degree, while still managing to do their jobs and mop up the last of the Ganglers. The Lupinrangers are believed to be dead, or at least, still trapped inside Dogranio’s safe world. When the credits start to roll on this series for the final time, the ending is ambiguous, a cliffhanger that leaves the main arc of the show unresolved. It is flashy, though, and does not disappoint if you are looking for good choreography and stunt work.

Where it does fall short in one other big way, though, is that the final scene of the series undoes much of the growth the characters went through, ignoring previously established friendships and romances, in favour of the generic cops-and-robbers angle that began the series. With a movie coming later in the year, I am personally hopeful that that will provide the ending this amazing series rightfully deserves. Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger kicks off in a few weeks, but until then, we are going to be treated to a four-week miniseries called Super Sentai: Strongest Battle! This series will be covered here during its full run leading up to the premiere of Ryusoulger.


Kamen Rider Zi-O Episodes 22 and 23

Zi-O’s true power is unleashed this week as Zi-O II debuts! In an attempt to defeat Another Ryuga, Geiz sacrifices his life to use his finishing attack on Another Ryuga, knowing that there is a time distortion before the attack triggers. This leads to Sougo beginning to accept the darkness in himself, the way he’d convinced Kido Shinji earlier in the episode to do the same.

Zi-O II is able to defeat Another Ryuga, and in a strong twist of character, Tsukuyomi and Geiz wrap the episode knowing they pushed Sougo in the wrong direction. They resolve to do better, and we begin the next episode, which sees Sougo jump 102 years into the future, to 2121.

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There he meets Kamen Rider Kikai, a parody of Shotaro Ishinomori’s other classic tokusatsu hero, Kikaider. Curiously, the episode is even called “Kikai da!” as an easter egg reference to this character.  Kikai’s design is very reminiscent of Drive, to me, with similar eyes and helmet shape. Many of the parts are mechanical in nature, obviously meant to emphasize the “Kikai” or machine design.

It’s a good suit, overall, and one that could easily be believed as a future Rider. When Sougo and Geiz end up meeting Another Kikai, it is the opposite of its counterpart, organic in nature instead of mechanical. The armour is largely made of wood, and instead of a person, Another Kikai appears to be some kind of Beetle that can reform itself by jumping from one tree to another. To put a twist on things, it’s revealed with a quick snippet of dialogue that this Another Rider was not created by any of the existing Time Jackers we know.

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Through animation and set pieces, as well as some expository dialogue by Kikai, we see a dark future that is worthy of its own series, if played out correctly, much like the previous Miraiders up to this point. One thing that threw me off at first, but quickly became one of the best parts of the episode, was the face and voice behind Kikai. The same actor who plays Kamen Rider Kikai was also recently seen as Zamigo in Lupinranger vs Patoranger, but seeing him play a hero is only briefly an odd transition. He plays the part well, and I personally would love to see more of this character and world, either through a spin-off or V-Cinema like Kamen Riders Shinobi and Quiz are getting.

This episode holds a few more big twists that you will need to watch it to see, but the implications on the plot are staggering if managed correctly. Next week, we will see the resolution of the Kikai arc, as well as all three Riders working together for the first time. Stay tuned and leave your thoughts in the comments or on social media!


Super Sentai Strongest Battle Episode 1

This three-episode miniseries is designed to fill the gap between the end of Lupinranger vs Patoranger and the beginning of the upcoming Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger, and is a crossover event between returning and new heroes. We begin with the defeat of the Gokaigers at the hands of the series’ villain, Gaisorg. The series features not only teams crossing over, but dimensions, as we see the team lineup debut. The team includes Gokai Red, Zyuoh Eagle, AkaNinger, Kyuranger’s Sasori Orange, and Toq # 5 (Pink). All of the original actors return, though the voice for Gokai Red’s suited form in the opening is clearly not Ryota Ozawa. Keiichiro of the Patorangers is also invited to join, but we are still given no resolution to the cliffhanger ending of his series.

Taking beats from multiple western media sources, each Ranger who is invited is given a literal golden ticket, then transported to a Marvel-style battle world, a planet called Nemesis. Each summoned ranger joins a team of five, for a total of 32 groups, and the contest is shown to be a battle royale tournament. Zyuoh Eagle regrets that he and Keiichiro are in the first match, thinking they would get along well, but knowing this is just a contest. The match is between “Team Weirdo” and “Team Serious Business” which both appear to be fitting names. Apart from this one-on-one contest, we see other matches going on with other teams, dating as far back as Denjiman and Turboranger. Many of the battles shown are between teams whose seasons had crossover movies, including TimeBlue against Gingaman Red.

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Overall, this crossover event appears to be riding the Battle Royale hype train, but is a fun ride nonetheless. If you need a Super Sentai fix in between series, this will get you through, but is largely lacking in substance, apart from the character interactions.


Power Rangers News

Unveiled at Toy Expo 2019, we finally have our first look at the Lightning Collection, as well as other new Power Rangers toys coming from Hasbro later this year. Each figure in the Lightning Collection is highly detailed, including multiple accessories and head sculpts for Rangers (including Doggie Cruger). The first wave of Lightning Collection figures will be as follows:

Part of the second wave has also been officially announced. Included in this wave will be:

  • Goldar (US Exclusive to Gamestop)
  • Beast Morphers Red

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In addition, it was confirmed that Power Rangers Beast Morphers will premiere on March 2nd on Nickelodeon in the US, with worldwide release to follow shortly after.

A trailer debuted for Beast Morphers around 2/21/19, showing some of the differences between Beast Morphers and Go-Busters, as well as some of the effects and the new transformation sequence. It appears they are adding a crystal gimmick that didn’t exist in Go-Busters, but are otherwise leaving the scene largely unchanged.

What did you guys think of this week’s shows and news? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

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First look and new toys revealed inside Hasbro’s Power Rangers Toy Fair display

Before it’s even officially open, we have a really good look at Hasbro’s display space at New York Toy Fair 2019!

It’s been a busy few days for fans of Power Rangers. With New York Toy Fair approaching, followers of the brand were excited to find out just what exactly Hasbro had planned for us in their first foray into the Power Rangers universe. We already saw early previews of the Zords and 6″ Figures this week, and the Lightning Collection yesterday, but now there are even more news items to digest, as well as a good look at the toys on display.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Lightning Collection

Overnight, the first of the new Lightning Collection figures was made available for preorder in the United States at Hasbro’s new collector hub, Hasbro Pulse. Our first featured Ranger is the Red Ranger from Power Rangers Dino Charge. As you can see from the gallery below, the figure comes bundled with weapons, hands and a swappable head in the likeness of Tyler, played by actor Brennan Mejia. The US retail price is $19.99 and is expected to be £19.99 in the United Kingdom, too.

 

Inside the display space, we get our first look at… well… everything!

6″ Action Figures

First up, are the 6″ line of action figures from the upcoming Beast Morphers series, which debuts March 2nd in the United States. We had already seen and fallen in love with these figures. In a 6″ scale, they will match up nicely alongside the Lightning Collection and even it’s predecessor, Bandai America’s Legacy line, which only came in at roughly half an inch more in size. At the back of the display, we also get a preview of the packaging. Each figure is bundles with at least one weapon, as well as a key for the Beast Morphers’ Morpher.

Some of Beast Morphers Wave 1 action figures – From left: Blue Ranger, Yellow Ranger, Blaze, Red Ranger, Tronic

More from Wave 1 – From left: Tronic, Roxy, Jack Beast Bot, Powered Red Ranger, Silver Ranger (in background)

Figures from Wave 2, due Autumn 2019 – From left: Red Ranger Powered Up, Silver Ranger, Gold Ranger, Evox, Drilltron

12″ Action Figures

Affectionately known as ‘nutcracker’ figures, Hasbro will also produce a small 12″ line of figures for Beast Morphers. The Red and Blue Rangers, as well as Blaze, are available from April, while Silver and Yellow will wait til Autumn for release.

The first 12″ figures for Beast Morphers – From left, Red, Blaze, Blue, Silver, and Yellow

Playskool

We already knew about the Wild Force Megazord and Red Dragon Thunderzord coming in this line (not pictured here) but that was not all for the Playskool line of toys for smaller children. Playskool Heroes feature Zords are to be produced, starting with reproductions of further mecha from Power Rangers Wild Force and also the dinosaurs of Power Rangers Dino Thunder. Alongside those Zords, Mega Mighties of complimenting Power Rangers will also be released in packs of two.

A first look at Wild Force and Dino Thunder based toys in the Playskool line

Playskool Heroes figures – From right: WF Silver, DT Yellow, Ninjor, DC Green, DC Gold

And finally…

First revealed late last night, the outside of Hasbro’s Power Rangers space gave us a rare treat in a look at the beautiful Dino Megazord from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. A plaque alongside the Megazord reveals that this is the original prop from the 1993 series but, according to fans and experts on various forums, that isn’t strictly accurate. While the base of this Megazord may indeed stem from the original filming of Zyuranger, the suit had to undergo significant repair to be useable again and, as such, you could argue that so much has been changed that this is not the original suit.

This suit was used by Toei Company in the filming of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: The Movie and later found its way into the, now closed, Toei Hero World Museum. Over on our Facebook page, good friend of Toku Toy Store, Stu Hix, noted the blemishes in the suit that proved it was one and the same from Hero World.

View from the entrance to Hasbro’s display space

Plaque detailing the history of the Megazord

On the other side of the entrance, far left, is a small display of items produced by third-party manufacturers.

New and existing Power Ranger products produced by third-party (non-Hasbro) manufacturers

That’s it for now! Keep eyes here at Toku Toy Store for further news and updates, as well as the new toys from Hasbro when they become available from April 2019!

What is your favourite new toy reveal? Which items will be coming home to your collection? Join the conversation on our social media pages!

Source: The Toy Book/The Rockfather, Hasbro Pulse.
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Power Rangers Stage Show Coming to the US and Canada

The Power Rangers franchise is taking another shot at live shows.

Amongst the new toy and Beast Morphers premiere news today, Hasbro have announced a new partnership to create a new series of live stage shows across the United States and Canada. This marks the second time in the last few years that a live Power Rangers tour has been announced with the first, under Saban Brands, being cancelled during the run up to the first event.

The full details from Kilburn Live’s press conference is as follows:

HASBRO AND KILBURN LIVE BRING TOURING POWER RANGERS STAGE SHOW AND FAN EXPERIENCE TO U.S. AND CANADA

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (FEBRUARY 15, 2019) — Los Angeles-based Kilburn Live and Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), a global play and entertainment company, announced today that Kilburn will produce and tour a live stage show and fan experience featuring Hasbro’s POWER RANGERS across North America.

The POWER RANGERS live show will expand the POWER RANGERS storytelling with a live stage experience intended for Power Ranger fans of all ages.

“POWER RANGERS is a powerhouse franchise and we’re excited to build upon its 25-year legacy of entertainment and innovation to bring immersive experiences to a new generation of fans. We’re thrilled to work with Kilburn Live to unlock the potential of the POWER RANGERS Brand Blueprint with the live stage show and fan experience designed to delight existing fans and attract new ones,” said Simon Waters, Senior Vice President and GM of Hasbro’s Power Rangers franchise. “Kilburn is a proven leader in executing creative live entertainment experiences and we know all POWER RANGERS fans and families will find even more ways to engage with their favorite franchise.”

“POWER RANGERS is an iconic brand with passionate fans across the U.S. and Canada and we are honored to bring the stories and characters people know from TV and movies to a live stage show,” said Mark Manuel, CEO of Kilburn Live. “Our goal is to create a memorable POWER RANGERS experience the whole family will enjoy.”

Kilburn will be partnering with Koba Entertainment, a leading family entertainment live touring company, on the North American tour. Tour dates and cities will be announced later this year.

Stay tuned to Toku Toy Store for updates as they become available.

Would you like to attend a live Power Rangers show? What cities in North America are you hoping for? Sound off on our social media pages!

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Complete details of Power Rangers actors coming to the UK in 2019

When attending a convention, nothing beats meeting a good guest! This is a list of all the upcoming Power Ranger guests due to visit the UK Convention scene throughout 2019.

Toku Toy Store is happy to supply a list of all the guests attending conventions here in the UK, through 2019. Since we tend to go where the Ranger guests are, Toku Toy Store is also at the majority of these conventions. The list will be updated as more actors are announced.

Let’s start with LFCC Spring, March 2nd & 3rd 2019, which will have Emma Lahana from Power Rangers Dino Thunder.

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Emma Lahana was born in Auckland, New Zealand on June 27th, 1984. She became involved in the arts at a very young age doing ballet and broadened her dancing to jazz, tap and modern styles. She also learnt to play the violin but once in high school became involved in drama as well as singing. It was here that she auditioned for a long-running New Zealand TV soap, Shortland Street (1992) and was surprised to be given the part of “Erin Kingston” which she played for 2 seasons. She performed in many lead roles in musicals for ACMT. In 2002, she starred in the Disney movie You Wish! (2003) and, in 2003, landed a lead role in Power Rangers Dino Thunder (2004) as Kira Ford/Yellow Dino Ranger.

Following LFCC Spring is Carlisle Comic Con who will be hosting the suit actor of Alpha 5, Sandi Sellner.

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Sandi has had numerous roles in stage productions as well as working on several television shows, but is perhaps best known for playing Alpha 5 in seasons 2 and 3 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993).

Up next is Liverpool Comic Con, March 8th, 9th and 10th 2019, which will have a total of 14 Power Ranger actors in total, including fan favourites Bulk & Skull.

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Jason Narvy was born on March 27th, 1974 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is an actor and assistant director, known for having played the same character, Eugene ‘Skull’ Skullovitch, on seven different series: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993), Power Rangers Zeo (1996), Power Rangers Turbo (1997), Power Rangers in Space (1998), Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999), Power Rangers Wild Force (2002) and Power Rangers Samurai (2011).

Paul Schrier was born on June 1st, 1970 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA as Paul L. Schrier II. He is an actor and director, known for having played the same character, Farkas ‘Bulk’ Bulkmeier, on seven different series including: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993), Power Rangers Zeo (1996), Power Rangers Turbo (1997), Power Rangers in Space (1998), Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999), Power Rangers Wild Force (2002) and Power Rangers Samurai (2011).

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Steve Cardenas has been involved in the martial arts for 28 years (1986) since the age of 12. Steve is a 5th degree black belt in tae kwon do (as of 2014), and is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Steve owns his own jiu-jitsu studio in Burbank, California called Force Balance BJJ. He is best known for playing Rocky Desantos in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993) and Power Rangers Zeo (1996).

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Selwyn Ward was born on June 13th, 1977 in Kokomo, Indiana, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for playing TJ Johnson in Power Rangers Turbo (1997), Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999), and Power Rangers Wild Force (2002).

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Blake Foster was born on May 29th, 1985 in Northridge, California, USA as Blake Anthony Foster. He is an actor, known for playing Justin Stewart in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997), Power Rangers Turbo (1997) and Power Rangers in Space (1998).

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Tracy Lynn Cruz was born on January 29th, 1976 in Orange County, California, USA. She is an actress, known for playing Ashley Hammond in Power Rangers Turbo (1997), Power Rangers in Space (1998) and Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999).

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Jason Faunt grew up just outside of Chicago. A talented athlete, Jason almost became a professional baseball player. Instead, he came out to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Jason makes his professional debut in Power Rangers Time Force as Wes Collins.

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Michael Copon is an American actor known for a variety of film and television roles including that of Lucas Kendall in Power Rangers Time Force. Beyond his film and television commitments, Copon is also a talented singer, releasing ‘Let’s Get Nasty’ on iTunes in 2010 and appeared (and subsequently won) the competition on VH1’s But Can They Sing?

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Kevin Duhaney was born on June 2nd, 1984 in Whitby, Ontario, Canada. He is an actor, known for Half Baked (1998), Honey (2003), Power Rangers Dino Thunder (2004) and Four Brothers (2005).

Jeff Parazzo is a Toronto born actor with over 15 years of professional film & television experience splitting time between Canada and the United States. He was recently working on such shows as Flashpoint, Nikita, Degrassi and Suits. He is best known to his fans for his work as Trent Fernandes from Power Rangers Dino Thunder (2004). In 2016, Jeff was in the works with writing partners Kevin Duhaney & Luch Balao to bring their project “Trauma Con” to audiences around the world.

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Azim Rizk was born on September 4th, 1990 in Tucson, Arizona, USA. He is known for his work as Jake Holling in Power Rangers MegaForce / Super Megaforce.

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Ciara Hanna got started in the entertainment world when she was at the young age of 8. She travelled around Southern California singing with a local singing group, which entertained at such places as Knott’s Berry Farm, Royal Caribbean Cruise liner, and Universal Studios. She then pursued an acting/modelling career at 10. She starred in a few local plays before landing her first professional job doing a series of commercials overseas for the United Kingdom. Ciara Hanna also most recently played Gia Moran for Power Rangers Megaforce (2013).

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Nico Greetham was born in Woodbridge, Virginia to his Scottish father, Chris, and his Colombian mother, Isabella, both Physical Therapists. He has two sisters, Gabriella and Natalie Greetham. Nico grew up training as a competitive dancer at local dance studios, receiving numerous awards and titles in nationwide competitions. In 2016, Nico finally decided to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming an actor, by taking multiple acting classes in the Los Angeles area. Within 6 months, he landed his first role as Calvin Maxwell in Power Rangers Ninja Steel (2017-2019).

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Zoë Robins was born on February 19th, 1993 in Wellington, New Zealand. She is an actress, known for The New Tomorrow (2005), The Shannara Chronicles (2016) and Power Rangers Ninja Steel (2017-2019).

Following on from Comic Con Liverpool is Medway Comic & Screen Festival, March 30th, at Medway Park in Gillingham who will be hosting Johnny Yong Bosch and Nakia Burrise from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Power Rangers Zeo and Power Rangers Turbo.

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Johnny Yong Bosch was born on January 6th, 1976 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA as John Jay Bosch. He studied Shaolin Kung Fu in Texas under Master James Clark. Master James Clark showed him an advert in the newspaper about an audition for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, where he subsequently got his start in film. He is known for his work on  Akira (1988), Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993), Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995), Power Rangers Zeo (1996), Power Rangers Turbo (1997) and Bleach (2004).

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Growing up in Stockton, CA, Nakia Burrise was introduced to musical theatre and performance in elementary school. She began performing acrobatics by the age of five and later ventured into theatre, musical theatre, dancing, singing, and modelling. While attending Edison High School in Stockton, California, Nakia auditioned for UCLA’s prestigious theatre department. She was the only African American female freshman accepted into the theatre department that year. By the time she was a junior at UCLA, her professional career had begun. She booked her first role as a series regular on Power Rangers, as Tanya Sloan, the yellow ranger; while simultaneously recording her first pop album with her singing group, Divine. She has played an array of characters in various television series, movies, animated series, and commercials. She is best known for Power Rangers Zeo (1996).

Continuing the MMPR theme, next up is Em-Con Nottingham, 4th & 5th May, who will be visited by Amy Jo Johnson and Jason David Frank.

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Amy is a multi-faceted artist with over twenty years experience in the entertainment industry. Working successfully as an actress for more than two decades, Johnson is most known for her roles as Kimberly Hart in the iconic series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Julie Emrick on the critically-acclaimed series Felicity, and Jules Callaghan on the award-winning Canadian series Flashpoint. she is best known for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993) and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995).

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Jason David Frank is well-known for his role of Tommy Oliver in Power Rangers. He is the voice of Emissary in Transformers: Titans Returns and brings Bloodshot to life in the highly-anticipated project Ninjak vs.the Valiant Universe. Always one looking for adventure, Jason shares his exciting life in the extremely popular series My Morphin Life, which is now in its fourth season.

Arguably the most popular and famous Power Ranger, Jason’s character was only intended to be in ten episodes. Due to his popularity, he was morphed into the most amount of different rangers in the show’s twenty-four year history. He began as the Mighty Morphin Green Ranger, a bad boy turned good, and subsequently morphed into the Mighty Morphin White Ranger, Red Zeo, Red Turbo, and then returned in 2004 as the Black Dino Thunder Ranger. He is best known for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993), Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995), Power Rangers Zeo (1996), Power Rangers Turbo (1997), Power Rangers Dino Thunder (2004) and Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel (2018).

Second to last is Em-Con Worcester, September 14th, who will be playing host to David Yost.

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David Yost was born on January 7th, 1969 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA as David Harold Yost. He is an actor and producer, known for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993), Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995) and Power Rangers Zeo (1996).

Last, but by no means least, is Inverness Comic Con, October 12th, who will have Brennan Mejia attending.

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Brennan Mejia is a professional acrobat turned actor, and has been performing since he was a kid. Best known for his role as the Red Ranger In Power Rangers Dino Charge and Dino Super Charge, Brennan has also worked on a number of other projects such as: Supergirl, American Horror Story Murder House, Kickin’ It, iCarly, Kaboom, Life In Pieces, The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, CSI Miami, American Ninja Warrior, and many others. Aside from performing, he also has a passion for health and wellness, and has a B.S. in Kinesiology, as well as certifications in fitness, yoga, and nutrition.

That’s it for now! If and when more actors are announced as coming to the UK, we will update the list as soon as possible.

What do you think of all the guests so far? Who would you like to see at a convention? Let us know on our social media pages!

Sources: IMDB (biographies), Just Jared Jr. (featured image)
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Power Rangers coming back to the Cinema?

New information reveals that it looks like Power Rangers may be returning to the silver screen once more!

It has been leaked that during a conference call to discuss future Power Ranger projects, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner revealed that Hasbro was currently in discussion with Paramount Pictures, with whom Hasbro have a long standing relationship, to make a new Power Rangers movie.

It’s completely unclear whether any new movie would have any ties to the 2017 Lionsgate produced film but the prospect of any Power Rangers on the big screen again has Ranger Nation buzzing!

Do you want to see the Power Rangers return to cinema? Do you think is could be based on a different team? Let us know on our social media pages!

Source: Tokunation
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Jackie Marchand posts original concept art from Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie

While most of us in the United Kingdom slept last night, Ranger Nation was treated something special from the second Power Rangers film, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.

Former Power Rangers writer and producer, Jackie Marchand took to Twitter last night to post some concept art, puportly containing orginal ideas for Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. The images show over suit armaments called the Power Suites [sic] which would have been used underwater.

Jackie Marchand worked on Power Rangers from Mighty Morphin’ Season 3 to Time Force, and then again for the Disney era from Ninja Storm through to RPM. Marchand, while a fan of the Super Sentai series, was known for being against Power Rangers sticking rigidly to Sentai storylines and would routinely seek to add elements that would separate Power Rangers from its Japanese counterpart. These concept drawings seem to be an example of that.

You can view the concept art below:

While there was no mention of where in the movie these suits would have been used, you could speculate that they might have been used to storm Divatox’s submarine or to approach Maligore’s island without their Turbo zords.

What do you think of the concept drawings? Would you have liked to see them in the Turbo movie? Join the conversation on social media!

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Power Rangers Legacy Wars: Street Fighter Showdown Review

The day has arrived; the ultimate marketing synergy of Power Rangers and Street Fighter collides in a wholly original short film produced to advertise the Power Rangers: Legacy Wars game.

Earlier in the year, we saw that this short was going to be a thing and who better to produce it than Bat in the Sun, the production company behind the internet series Super Power Beatdown, which has had two Power Ranger focused episodes (both starring Jason David Frank, who’d have thought).

sfs1The story is pretty much the new plot for the game with a hint of Dimensions in Danger, with Bison and Rita joined forces and created powerful clones of the Power Rangers that are in the Legacy Wars game. It’s bare bones but just enough to justify a video game or an internet short.

sfs2The fight choreography is on par with Bat in the Sun’s previous efforts. Impacts are hard-hitting and the energy effects are pretty solid for this budget.

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The Ryu Ranger costume is very nicely rendered for live action too, and fits the MMPR aesthetic very well. It’s just a shame they contrived a reason for Chun-Li not to get a power coin because she looks kinda silly in the big hero shot. Shout out to the music composer too, bringing in a fantastic remix of the Go Go Power Rangers theme.

Overall, it’s a fun little 8-minute romp for a game advert and I’m sure we’ll be seeing a follow-up if there’s enough interest or another major character update (Chun-Li Ranger?).

You can watch the full short film here:

What were your thoughts on this short? Did you have fun? Want to be nit-picky about power scaling in this short? Know how much meter Ryu burned over the course of it? Let us know in the comments below!

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Power Rangers Beast Morphers New Cast Members Announced

Power Rangers Beast Morphers is still in production, set for a release date in February 2019, but is still light on casting announcements. Hasbro seemingly hopes to change that today with the reveal of several new characters, cast recently in the show. So far, not much information is available, only character names and actors, but there is some speculation to be had from some of them. See below for more:

The first new character will be Nate, played by actor Abraham Rodriguez. Nothing else is known at this time.

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Next we have Ben, played by actor Cosme Flores. Again, no other information was made available.

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The first new female character after the Yellow Ranger, Betty, will be played by actress Christina Ho.

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And now we can get into speculation about new characters for the next two. First up is Blaze, played by actor Colby Strong and believed to be a villain corrupted by the Evox organization, alongside our next female character, Roxy, played by Liana Ramirez.

It seems diversity is a key point this season, with many actors of varying ethnicity getting involved in the production as major and minor characters. The story is being adapted from Go-Busters and seems to be sticking close to many of the themes of that series, so far. Look for more information to be revealed in the coming months leading up to the premiere. Power Rangers Beast Morphers premieres in February 2019 on Nickelodeon.

What do you think of this reveal? Are you excited? Leave your thoughts and let’s discuss!

Source: ThatHashtagShow

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Power Rangers 25th Anniversary Special Episode Review

Last night was a big night. August 28th, 2018, the 25th anniversary of Power Rangers. With this remarkable milestone in franchise history, we got a crossover special focusing on a blending of new and old that worked well, mostly.

Overall, this episode is well-plotted and answers a lot of questions that have been lingering in the fan base for years, while confirming a few fan theories as well. Much of the episode focuses on the legacy of Tommy Oliver, the legendary Ranger who inspired so many others that came after, including using Tommy as both a villain and a rallying point. The setup of the episode involves a new villain, Lord Drayvon, who is trying to shatter the barriers in the multiverse using three Mega Arrows crafted by the primary villain of Super Ninja Steel, Madame Odius, in an attempt to build an army of Ranger robots and conquer each Ranger-inhabited dimension.

Our team for this reunion is made up of the entire Super Ninja Steel team, as well as the following returning Rangers:

  • Jason David Frank as Tommy Oliver, Dino Thunder Black
  • Steve Cardenas as Rocky DeSantos, Mighty Morphin’ Red II
  • Catherine Sutherland as Katherine Hillard, Turbo Pink
  • Selwyn Ward as TJ Johnson, In Space Blue
  • Jason Faunt as Wes Collins, Time Force Red
  • Jeff Parazzo as Trent Mercer, Dino Thunder White
  • Li Ming Hu as Gemma, RPM Silver
  • Steven Skylar as Antonio Garcia, Samurai Gold
  • Ciara Hanna as Gia Moran, Megaforce/Super Megaforce Yellow
  • Yoshi Sudarso as Koda, Dino Charge Blue

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Left to Right: Jeff Parazzo, Steve Cardenas, Li Ming Hu, Selwyn Ward, Steven Skylar, Ciara Hanna, Jason David Frank, William Shewfelt, Jordi Webber, Peter Sudarso, Yoshi Sudarso, Jason Faunt, Nico Greetham, Hayley Robbins, Chrysti Ane, Catherine SutherlandOver the course of the episode, we are treated to a great deal of action and teamwork, with most of the action footage of the Super Ninja Steel Rangers on their own having been lifted from Shuriken Sentai Ninninger: The Movie. The rest of the team scenes, or unmorphed scenes, are set in interiors or use a backdrop of flat gray walls and small areas, which serve the fight choreography extremely well. While not all the returning Rangers get a great deal of screen time, each has a purpose in the episode and all of them come together at the end to work with the Super Ninja Steel team.

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Without giving too much away, Tommy is able to play four out of his five previous Ranger forms in this episode, and we even get a well put together Tommy VS Tommy fight at one point, capped off by a larger battle between the thirteen Rangers and the Robot Ranger army controlled by Lord Drayvon. For the amount of material they had to work with in this episode, however, 23 minutes is simply not enough time. At points, it felt a bit rushed, certain plot points seemingly glossed over. The episode did answer many questions, though, such as confirming at long last that Dino Charge and RPM are indeed separate realities from the rest of the Power Rangers franchise.

In addition, in the opening moments we learn that Tommy Oliver now has a son named JJ, though JJ himself and his mother are not seen on screen. From the location of Tommy’s home in Reefside, there a few possibilities as to the identity of JJ’s mother, including Kimberly Hart or potentially even Elsa or Hayley, from Dino Thunder. In addition, JJ’s existence in the main continuity creates an additional possible link to the upcoming graphic novel Soul of the Dragon, which has often been called the “Power Rangers version of Old Man Logan.”

As stated by both Wes and Gemma, though, interdimensional travel is possible via the Morphin’ Grid, creating a possible link to the comics continuity and the story Shattered Grid as well. Could this mean Hasbro is laying the groundwork for the next film to tie all the universes together via an adaptation of Shattered Grid? It may be a bit early to tell, but one thing is for certain: Hasbro has big things in the works for our beloved franchise once they officially take full control with Power Rangers Beast Morphers, which is currently shooting and set to premiere in early 2019.

Overall, I liked this episode and found it a fitting, if rushed, way to celebrate a 25-year history that is still being written and make sure the old Rangers return.

What did you think of this episode? Leave your thoughts and let’s discuss!