After wildly successful releases of both Zyuranger and Dairanger on DVD, Shout Factory is keeping the Super Sentai love coming with Ninja Sentai: Kakuranger. They were generous enough to provide a couple review copies to the HJU staff, so with thanks to the great team at Shout, here’s my thoughts on the latest Super Sentai DVD box set!
To start things off, I think it’s appropriate to take a step back to my Zyuranger DVD review, where I said I felt the box art looked a lot like a bootleg. A few months down the line, looking at it beside the Kakuranger DVD on my shelf, I have to say, it’s definitely grown on me! My initial reaction is definitely different from how I feel now, and I have to say, I love how simply designed they are. They are easy to spot on the DVD shelf, and even in it’s simplicity, you can quickly tell the difference between each set at a glance. Shout, I have to give due credit there. You made a believer out of me with your sleeve designs!
As far as the DVDs themselves, you get ten discs, with four to six episodes each, with a total episode count of 53.
The episodes are presented from the best available copies of the episodes, and the captions are drawn from original scripts for the purists out there, and in my initial viewing of ten episodes, I didn’t catch any errors in captioning. They are Region 1 NTSC encoded, however, so keep this in mind outside of Region 1 territories.
The discs are adorned with a fantastic shot of the five Rangers, with silhouette-like pictures of their mechs behind them. They are all labeled with disc number, which is super convenient. You would think this is a no brainer feature, but I’ve seen enough DVD box sets to know better.
The inner sleeve is decorated with a few more choice photos of the show and Rangers, and a full episode list, for easy perusal when you’re looking for a particular episode. I definitely prefer this to the tendency of some sets to include a sheet in the box, which is liable to get lost, bent, torn, or any other number of terrible things. Some will find this an inconvenience, as you have to lift either one of two discs in order to see it, but a minor gripe for some people and not a problem for me.
The show is presented in Japanese Dolby Digital Stereo. Audiophiles need not apply, because, much like Zyuranger, these are over 20 year old audio tracks. Don’t expect movie quality. However, keep these in mind, and you’ll be just fine. The audio doesn’t get messy, or have any errors I’ve found in initial viewing. Can’t ask for much more than that!
As far as what I think of the show itself? I think it would be dishonest from a review standpoint to give my thoughts on the show with only ten episodes under my belt, but for what it’s worth, I’ve had a great time with the show so far. It’s a ton of fun for fans of Sentai, or even just Toku in general.
Oh, and it’s so, SO much better than Mighty Morphin’ Alien Rangers.
As an aside, I highly recommend August Ragone’s videos from the recent Shout Factory Live Dairanger Marathon, as well as his Zyuranger Marathon videos, where he shares behind the scenes facts and trivia about Sentai as a series and toku as a genre. They can be found on Youtube at this playlist, so check it out, and let Shout know that a Kakuranger marathon would be awesome!
Overall, for even the casual tokusatsu fan, I highly recommend the Shout Factory Sentai DVDs, and Kakuranger is no exception. They’re presented in best available quality and they take all necessary steps to satisfy both the casual fan and purist. I also recommend them even more to the Power Rangers fan, so long as you remember not to compare the shows directly (adaption is the word, folks!).
You can order Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: The Complete Series DVD Box set, along with Zyuranger, and Dairanger, at Shout Factory’s online store, or at your favorite online retailer.
What do you think of Shout’s efforts to introduce Sentai to the English speaking world? Have you picked up any? Is there another show you’d like to see hit legitimate DVDs? Let us, and Shout (they’re on Twitter!) know, and as always, be sure to keep it here for the latest in Tokusatsu news!