What I've learned from a Power Ranger Otaku
Super Sentai, better known in America as Power Rangers, was the quintessential live action superhero show for kids back in the early 90s. The show had cool looking teenagers, futuristic ninja costumes, martial arts, giant robots and invading aliens. All the elements to get kids my age in front of the tv screen.
I eventually grew out of it, or rather moved on to other things that put me in front of a screen, but my former coworker, Danny Torres, remained an otaku to the Super Sentai pop culture. Never mind his figurine collection. Danny's passion has gotten him to network with people in the industry, translate panel discussions with actors, produce video content, and play an extra in many of the modern Super Sentai episodes.
Recently, he and and the Toku Spirits team got together with past Sentai members for a charity event in the Philippines. The cause was to raise funding for Kids Cancer Vibe and DareDemo Hero.
The team needed a promo video to hype up the event and Danny needed a sound man to help him record the promo. Thanks to my new podcasting routine, I was able to provide mics and an audio recorder.
The original plan was to shoot the promo at a bar, but a last minute cancellation in our reservation lead us to put together a set at his share house. We turned the kitchen and living area into a decent enough production space, and we decorated the backdrop with mangas, figurines, and other otaku merchandise.
As we waited for the actors to arrive, Danny played the Super Sentai shows from the 1980’s. Watching the original shows made me wonder how my fascination for the series must have influenced my decisions to practice martial arts and come to Japan. Soon after Kaizu Ryosuke, the Red Mask (Red Ranger) from the 1987 season Hikari Sentai Maskman, arrived with Michiko Makino, Pink Five (Pink Ranger) from the Cho Denshi Makino series from 1984. Also was special guest and apparently super popular Kenta Sato, Red Turbo (Red Ranger) from the 1989 series Kousoku Sentai Turboranger.
There was no wasting time, so the team got pinned with mics and the camera rolled. The enthusiasm I heard through the headphones brought back memories of returning home from school to an afternoon session of power rangers.
The filming didn't take long and a few days after the shoot, Danny released the below promo videos for the event.
Danny, the Sentai crew, and Toku Spirits went to the Phillipines and raised ¥200,000 for Kids Cancer Vibe and DareDemo Hero.
It is amazing to think where a childhood obsession can take you.