The Power Rangers?

Most of grew up, if not completely enamoured with, vaguely aware of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  And, in Japan, it may have been noticed that suddenly the Rangers are everywhere once again, from the figurines at conbinis, to the large bookshelves at bookstores dedicated to their exploits.

Ever wondered what that was all about?

Well, let me, the resident self-proclaimed (totally not at all) expert explain it!

Super Sentai (スーパー戦隊) has been  favorite type of show of Japanese children (and full-grown adult nerds who live in Togi) since it’s inception in the 70s.  It has the following three key plot elements : first, 3-7 super heros in spandex outfits with a specific color theme ; second, said super heros fight evil in the form of monsters who seem bent on doing evil for evil’s sake; and third, giant robot battles.

Samurai Sentai Shinkenger

Samurai Sentai Shinkenger

About every year or so, a new “Power Ranger” comes out, with a completely distinct story line, and theme. Themes can range from  ninjas, to communing with robotic dinosaurs. The most recentShinkenger, has the theme of Japanese culture. Each character is equipped with a shoudo brush to draw attacks with, a Japanese weapon, and a kanji theme.

But why bring it up on the Ishikawa Blog? Well, not only is it really fun to watch in a MST3k sort of way (which is all the reason in the world for me to watch it), it uses very easy Japanese.  A Japanese that is easy enough to, dare I say, study. Also, for you elementary school teacher’s out there, kids always love it when adults share their interests.  I have the figurines at my desk, and it always is a source of English conversation for me and my students and they’re in High school! They may not like it anymore, but they certainly remember watching it when they were kids.

Currently, Shinkenger is showing at 7:30 on TV Asahi every Sunday morning.


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