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Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger

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Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger
Despite being the show that inspired Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Zyuranger has a lot of flaws we simply can't ignore...
Genre: Tokusatsu
Running Time: 24–25 minutes
Country: Japan
Release Date: February 21, 1992 – February 12, 1993
Network(s): TV Asahi
Created by: Toei
Distributed by: Shout! Factory
Starring: Yūta Mochizuki
Seiju Umon
Hideki Fujiwara
Takumi Hashimoto
Reiko Chiba
Shiro Izumi
Machiko Soga
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 50
Previous show: Choujin Sentai Jetman
Next show: Gosei Sentai Dairanger

Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger (恐竜戦隊ジュウレンジャー, Kyōryū Sentai Jūrenjā) is a Japanese tokusatsu television series and the sixteenth installment in the long-running Super Sentai metaseries of superhero programs. Produced by Toei and Bandai, it aired on TV Asahi from February 21, 1992, to February 12, 1993, with a total of 50 episodes. It was the first Sentai series to have a regular Sixth Ranger, and the first to introduce the concept of sentient, living mecha — a theme that has been used frequently in the franchise ever since. It was also the first Sentai series to be adapted into an installment of the American Power Rangers series. Footage from all 50 episodes was extensively used for the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The core Zyuranger costumes were used in all three seasons of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and were used as the original Power Rangers costumes while the Dragon Ranger costume was adapted into the Green Ranger's costume and was used throughout Season 1 and in early Season 2.

Bad Qualities

  1. It is a massive downgrade from its predecessor, Choujin Sentai Jetman. This is because the higher-ups for the season changed the tone to appeal to a very young audience, much to the exasperation of older viewers who grew up watching Super Sentai.
  2. The Rangers are mostly bland, naïve, uninteresting characters who all share the generic "hero" personality. We barely learn anything about their past, the most we've gotten is from Geki and his relationship with Burai, and Mei in a single episode with Dora Guzzler. For the rest, we don't get a single instance of their backstory. They are also shown to be very incompetent, falling for Bandora's tricks every time. Oftentimes, it leads to either the child of the week coming to save them from their own ineptitude, or relying on Deus ex machinas. All of this is the fault of the child guest stars constantly shoving the main characters to the background, preventing them from developing as characters.
    • Speaking of the rangers, Boi being changed into a girl (Trini Kwan) in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers started the infamous "She's A Man In Japan" trope.
  3. The team's mentor, Barza, is a useless uninteresting mentor. All he does is give the team information on how to beat a certain monster. He doesn't try to teach them new lessons or anything a mentor is supposed to do. Every time he tries to fight, he gets defeated effortlessly. The only thing of substance he does is in the finale when he "Coincidentally" remembered a spell that would come from common vocabulary.
  4. The Gods (Daizyuzin, Clotho, and the Guardian Beasts) are liars. They claim that it is not possible to fully restore someone back to life once they die once, but we see later that it's perfectly possible when Dai Satan revived Bandora's son, Kai. They also caused the Great War to happen, which led to the dinosaurs' extinction due to not reviving Kai to appease Bandora. They could've simply given Bandora her son back and called it a day, given the great powers that are shown in the final few episodes. They also could've revived Burai and made the team happy, but decided not to because of... reasons.
  5. The season is too child-centric, with almost all the plots featuring a new kid that causes issues with the team. This child-centrism is so forced into the story, that the first episode starts off with kids being launched on a space shuttle mission for no good reason. Even in important arcs such as the rangers acquiring the legendary weapons, there's a random kid and his mother that are placed there for no good reason other then to force in kids.
  6. Bandora's reasoning for always targeting children is short-sighted and petty. One instance is her targeting children because she saw them enjoying food with their family, and she wants to get rid of food because of that. Her real reason is never to be alluded to in the slightest and it contradicts with her actions. It's all just an after-the-thought retcon to give Bandora some sort of explanation why she's done all this.
  7. Dumb plots, some examples being:
    • Episode 8, has Bandora try to steal food from kids because they are eating food with joy, which infuriates her. It's also an episode that mocks people with weight problems.
    • Episode 11, has the Zyurangers deal with a genie which they confirm comes from the legend of Aladdin, despite the fact that Aladdin came long after them. The Genie is used by some brats to give them presents like video games or cars, when they could've asked for more long-term wishes like being demi-gods and such, since so far he demonstrated to have no limitations to his wishes and he can grant more than one wish. The brats refuse to hand over the lamp as they see the Genie as their "friend", when really they were just using him, forcing the Zyurangers to save them. After the fight, the Zyuranger seals the Genie away to prevent Bandora from using his powers again... despite the fact that they themselves could've used his power to defeat Bandora and win the war. Idiots!
    • Episode 12, Totpat has Dora Argus send a little girl into an illusion that her dad is a vampire so he can suck her blood. Here's the problem, though: why would the girl believe the illusion when her father demonstrated no vampiric traits? And why couldn't Totpat just go after someone different to suck blood from when he finds the Zyurangers defending the girl?
    • Episode 16, has a monster disguised as a clown who has a kid kick soccer balls that cause people in the area to sneeze for some reason. Why sneezing? Because with enough sneezing, the kids will die! Why sneezing in specific instead of a better way of killing kids? Beat's me! Anyway, the brat of this episode is easily tricked by the monster into kicking the balls into large groups of people, even though these groups have no relation to him whatsoever.
    • Episode 38, sees Bandora plan to mind control an army of kids into attacking adults... despite the fact that mind-controlling the adults instead would give her more options to attack, as adults have more access to resources and children aren't exactly the strongest of fighters.
    • Episode 45, has a kid attacking people with a monster to save the environment, such as having the monster go and kill truck drivers. This presents Environmentalists as eco-terrorists.
    • Episode 46, A Dora Monster-led squad of evil Zyurangers turns the tide of public opinion against the real heroes, estranging them from the society they want to protect, brainwashing people hating on Zyurangers, Thankfully, After the battle is over, Citizens got their interest back on Zyurangers as real heroes. But then they fall back into hating the Zyurangers a couple episodes later and fall for the exact same trick.
  8. The final villain, Dai Satan, is very underwhelming. He does nothing but laugh, shoots lightning, or breathes ice from his mouth when he's on-screen. Even the way he was defeated was still underwhelming! With no dialogue or really any shown personality, Dai Satan is overall a very poor final villain.
  9. Many monster designs are either bland, forgetful, bad, or flat-out don't match the description of the mythological creature they're based on. Some aren't even mythological creatures!
    • Dora Reiger and Dora Franke just look cheaply made. They look as if their costumes were bought at a Halloween thrift shop.
    • Dora Cockatrice looks completely like a chicken, despite the fact that the mythological creature was mostly a dragon or serpent-like creature with the only bird part being its head.
    • Dora Titan looks like a standard medieval knight for no explained reason. Titans come from Greek Mythology, and Dora Titan has no resemblance to anything Greek related.
    • Dora Tarantula, Slikis, Tortoise, Knight, Endos, Guzzler, Mirage, Talos, and Ninja aren't based on Mythology at all. Even though Dora Tortoise is an amalgamation of different materials, It's for some reason linked to a myth of a mountain turtle. It seemed as though they were drawing straws in an attempt to give Dora Tortoise some sort of weakness.
  10. Speaking of the monsters, many of them have abilities that have nothing to do with the mythological creatures they are based on.
    • Dora Goblin is only visible to children thanks to his magic boots, but mythological goblins don't have this ability at all.
    • Dora Minotaur can burrow through the ground, despite the minotaur of the maze not being capable of doing this.
    • Dora Cockatrice using clippers and gardening shears to open portals that cut through time and space, when the Cockatrice actually kills people if anyone stares it in the eye.
  11. The civilians in this show are utter morons:
    • They attack the Zyurangers for destroying the city, saying that their past actions were all an act, despite the Zyurangers saving the city over 30 times in the past.
    • They fall for the same "monsters-disguised-as-evil-rangers" trick again 5 episodes later.
    • In the first episode where the astronauts open Bandora's prison without reporting back to mission control that they found something on the surface, trained astronauts constantly communicate with command because Space is a hostile environment!.
  12. Bad acting from the child actors. They either overreact or have no idea what they are doing. The only good child actor was Kai.
  13. Many plotholes:
    • As stated above, two kids get sent with two astronauts to explore planet Nemesis...why exactly? This goes against every protocol a space agency would have, why would the kid's parents agree with this? Why would JAXA spend their time making suits for these two children who have no idea what their doing? This episode is so hyper-focused on the children that the two adult astronauts that Bandora blew into space and left to die were completely forgotten and they were never brought up again.
    • Why didn't Barza relearn his magic over 170 million years? There was literally nothing stopping him from relearning his magic during that time.
    • How was Bandora banished to Nemesis despite it coming by Earth 230 million years ago, 90 million years before she was banished?
    • If Daizyuzin is sapient and powerful, why does he need the Zyurangers to transform in the first place?
    • The main team of rangers are supposed to be from an era where the technological level is roughly medieval compared to modern day, but as we see very early on, they have absolutely zero problems with adapting to modern times. No culture or technological shock is presented. The rangers also know folklore from various sources, none of which come from their time, but from the age of civilization. On the other hand, only one member of their group understands their ancient language despite supposedly coming from a time where it's the native written language and none of them know the legends that was written down in their books and need Barza to tell them. It begs the question what the point of making the main cast come from ancient times was when they could've just been regular teenagers picked up to fight, which is something Power Rangers did.
      • The same thing can be said to the Bandora gang. Pleprechaun was said to invent all new monsters for Bandora to use, yet most of his monsters come from western mythology, it would be impossible for him to come up with the concept of a Ninja or Circe long before they even were a thing.
    • Why are the Guardian Beasts robots? There is no explanation why they are mechanical instead of organic. The civilization they watched over didn't have high levels of technology.
    • If Kai didn't need 4 other kids to pilot Dora Talos, why did he bother kidnapping them in the first place? The Zyuranger defeated his plan of using them as a shield with relative ease.
    • Why didn't Bandora just outright destroy the three mecha when she had the perfect chance in the final battle instead of banishing them to Demiplane?
    • Where is Earth's modern military when this is all happening? This is a common plot hole in most Sentai seasons, with the only times this is avoided is when the Rangers are part of a Military Organization.
  14. Deus ex Machinas and Asspulls galore. Every time the team can't solve a problem, either the Guardian Beasts or Daizyuzin come out to save them.
    • In episode 4, when the Rangers reached the Legendary Weapons, the time limit they were set with ran out and they began turning into stone, meaning they failed the quest. Geki then randomly began begging to the Weapon's themselves, as if they were sapient beings, stating that they worked hard through the quest and deserved to wield them. The weapons then teleported into their hands and freed them from their curse despite the fact they failed the quest into the first place! After this episode, the weapons don't show any sign of sapience, which makes the previous scene a complete asspull!
    • In the first episode, the Zyuranger (Minus Geki) fall into Bandora's trap and were about to be killed. When all hope seemed lost, The Guardian Beast statues in the Ranger's base lights up and opens Geki's stasis door, which couldn't be opened due to the key for it breaking. This allows Geki to come in and save the gang from danger. Why exactly did the statues not free Geki before???
    • In episode 6, Geki was desperate to find the dino-crystals to form the team's mecha, all the sudden Geki's sword reveals the Dino Crystals, allowing the team to form their mecha.
    • In the same episode, When the Gang and their mecha were about to be defeated by Dora Sphinx because they failed its riddle game, The Godhorn sword comes out of nowhere and saves the gang from danger.
    • In the endgame arc, Two of the rangers stood behind the door to the prison realm Daizyuzin and the other mecha were in holding a rope that the other rangers are tied to. The struggles within made holding onto the rope very difficult to the point their hands are bleeding. Barza comes in and uses his staff as a holder for the rope, which starts to break from the pressure. SUDDENLY! Barza coincidentally "remembers" a spell that will harden the staff to be stronger, "Tyrannosaurus Triceratops!". Why did he forget this spell that can be used in his common vocabulary? This is the only time in the show where Barza EVER uses a spell.
  15. Despite how good it is to see Bandora on screen, she is shown to be lacking in intelligence, as she prioritizes tormenting children over dealing with her enemies that stand in her way. She makes so many poor actions that it ultimately led to her defeat.
  16. Besides Bandora, we never learn of any of the other villains' pasts. Why did they all side with Bandora and help her drive the dinosaurs to near extinction? With Pleprechaun's polite, kind nature, why did he even help her in the first place? Totpat only wants to suck blood for the first time, and Bookback only wants to be smart. These aren't very acceptable reasons to agreeing to hunt down the dinosaurs.
  17. There are many problems with the show about historical inaccuracies.
    • Human's were shown to exist alongside dinosaurs and have a medieval style society, but Human's weren't around 170 million years ago, they only appeared 300,000 years ago during the Middle Paleolithic era. No explanation in the show as to how humanity came to be much earlier or how they handled the extra heat.
    • Mammoths and Sabertooth's are also shown to be around 170 million years ago when it doesn't make an ounce of sense for them to be there in the first place. Pangaea was much hotter than current day earth is, it wouldn't make sense for animals that evolved to adapt to the Ice Age to evolve and live in this period that is the complete opposite to the environmental conditions they were in.
    • Plants would also be very different in response to the different temperature levels, The landscape wouldn't be so filled to the brim with colorful flowers as the plants wouldn't evolve to give off those colors in the first place.
    • Speaking of Pangaea, it also wouldn't exactly be right to call the land the ancient civilization came from Pangaea as Pangaea began to break apart 175 million years ago. The correct terms would be Laurasia and Gondwana.
  18. There are many scenes where toys are used to emulate scenes due to budget issues, and they are often very poorly made.
  19. The final battle was underwhelming. The two main villains did absolutely nothing but watch Kai get beaten down by the Rangers, causing them to lose the battle.
    • The way Bandora was defeated was a complete asspull. Since when does crying take away a witch's power?!

Good Qualities

  1. Burai is the only tolerable character with decent character development and fighting scenes. In fact, he's the only main character that gets this.
    • He's also the one responsible for saving Zyuranger from declining in ratings, and Burai's death is saddening because of the development that he gets. In fact, the episode he dies in is the highest rated episode in Zyuranger.
  2. Dragon Caesar is one of the first mecha characters to show a personality, and one someone could relate to about his lamenting over Burai's death is saddening. You know something is wrong when you feel more for a Mecha then the main quintet.
  3. The Bandora Gang are enjoyable characters with lively personalities, it's enjoyable to see Bandora on screen and how she acts. They displayed more energy in their first episode than the Zyuranger did the entire series.
  4. It is the first Sentai to incorporate fantasy elements instead of science-fiction, which Super Sentai had been relying upon for many years. While Zyuranger didn't do a good job at its fantasy elements, its descendant seasons learned from its mistakes and improved the genre for their own seasons.
  5. Some of the fight choreography is pretty intense, having scenes that take place in many locations.
  6. It is the first season to introduce the concept of more than five rangers; In this case, the first "Sixth Ranger" to the main cast. Maskman had a prototype of this concept, but never went further with it.
  7. There are a number of memorable moments such as Burai saving a baby as well as the other five Zyurangers being friendly to the children a fair amount of times in the series.
  8. The show has its fair share of epic moments such as the Zyurangers' first henshin and roll call, Geki using Burai's weapons for the first time as well as Dragon Caesar overcoming his grief over Burai's death.
  9. Despite the poor writing for the characters, the actors themselves do a good job performing their roles.
  10. Without this show, we wouldn't have Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as well as the Power Rangers franchise.



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