Power Rangers vs VR Troopers

Gather round, fuck faces and asshats. It's time for another SOTB Nerd Death Battle. Today, we're looking at two series which were cornier than Doritos, probably rotted our brains beyond repair, and desensitized us to violence, bullying, and a bunch of other shit. In other words, two of the "classic" shows from the 1990s--one more so than the others.

In the 1990s, Saban Studios got the idea to adapt live-action Japanese series for American audiences. This is because it was cheaper than new English cartoons and anime dubs were still pretty tragic. For instance, look up the Harmony Gold/CBS dub of the original Dragon Ball. Goku is named Zero, for fuck's sake.

Anyhow, the two most-popular of the multiple tried--and often failed--attempts to create American versions of, for instance, Super Sentai, were Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and VR Troopers. MMPR was based off mostly the Zyuranger Super Sentai series, revolved around a team of "Teenagers with Attitude" who kicked ass and Dinosaur-based mecha which combined to fight against an evil witch, an allusion to the Devil, and a golden monkey.

VR Troopers was based on one of the Metal Hero series (Google them), and revolved around, again, a group of teenagers. These teenagers received the capability to transform into, well, metal heroes. They then proceeded to kick evil in the asshole with the help of some weird sidekicks.

Now, MMPR was a series which was a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. From the first episode on, playgrounds were set ablaze with kids fighting as Jason or Tommy. It was a series which transcended race, somewhat, even though Trini, the "Asian" Ranger, was de facto the Yellow Ranger (since the original version only had one female, yellow is seen as more feminine, and she wasn't overly boobalicious) and Zack was great at hip-hop dancing. Hell, you could argue that some suburban kids wouldn't know jackshit about rap if it weren't for MMPR. Whether or not you're completely right is debatable, but it can be argued.

On the surface, VR failed to live up to the expectations of its American big brother. After you got inside the series...it failed to live up to the expectations of its American big brother. Even though VR Troopers gave us Jason David Frank aka Tommy Oliver (he was in the VR Troopers pilot. However he got picked up mostly off the strength of this pilot as Tommy), it's less memorable. It's less fun. It's...well, let's just say this: if I had to do a WIRTB on it, I'd say yes and recommend even Big Bad Beetleborgs over VRT. Ugh, even the cast of VRT was inept at engaging its core 6-12 demographic.


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