Its 25 years from when Power Rangers first hit our screens. Using footage from Japan’s legendary Super Sentai series. Inter-cut with a group of plucky teenagers surviving high school life, it was an instant hit.
Power Rangers has spawned 20 versions, a few movies, videogames, a web-series, conventions and more plastic toys than the eyes can see.
To celebrate this momentous occasion Power Rangers super fan Kallen Daynes rates his series of choice from worst to best.
In Part 2 we’ll go from 10 to 1.
Ninja Steel/Super Ninja Steel will not be included as there’s still approximately 20 episodes to air as at time of publication.
Mighty Morphin’ Alien Rangers will also not be included as it’s 10 episodes, and not a full Season. If I had to rate it, it would be very low on this list. If I were to include it in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season 3 it would just drag it down.
The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers original 3 seasons will also be counted as separate entities, due to the significant changes each season.
10 – Power Rangers Jungle Fury
Tragically over looked season with one of the best and most entertaining mentors in RJ, focusing on the theme of teaching and learning which gives the season a nice refreshing feel especially after following on from Operation Overdrive. The relationships between characters is complex and well thought out and all main characters (minus Dom forget about him) go through real and well-deserved changes and development having learnt from each other. The spirit rangers are also a nice addition and departure from the sentai season. Dom is a terrible character though even if his white and orange suit does look cool, so it isn’t quite perfect.
Verdict: Not perfect, but worth your time
9 – Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – Season 1
Where it all started. The footage is choppy, and you can often notice where they cut between American and Japanese footage but the season shaped a good amount of power rangers going forward. “Green with evil” is a fantastic saga as is “the green candle” power loss story arc making Tommy’s few appearances matter all the more. It’s also still fantastic for a re-watch seeing the original cast and the unashamed campiness of the season.
Verdict: All but essential, though the footage quality jumps are jarring
8 – Power Rangers SPD
Power Rangers as police!? The characters are well thought out and developed and the series takes some very challenging topics like prejudices and corruption. The introduction of Jack and Z is a fantastic way of establishing this, contrasted against the very stern unwavering position of Sky (who I definitely related more too as a child). He comes from a strong position of right and wrong giving his fathers role as the previous red ranger. Speaking of which “Reflection” is a very emotive story and a season highlight. The fear and unjust persecution the aliens fear whenever they see the rangers does a great job of representing the unjust persecution of minorities. Bridge is also one of the funniest and most interesting Power Ranger’s characters of all time and Gruumm is a fantastically dark psychotic villain.
Verdict: A well thought out cast and strong plot, recommended.
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – Season 2
Does a fantastic job of picking up from season 1 introducing one of the greatest and most terrifying villains of all time in lord Zedd (before they had to tone him down so as not to terrify children r.i.p) “Green No More” sees a fantastic conclusion to the green candle arc and “White Light” is a series highlight. It’s also sad to see the departure of Jason, Zack and Trini in “the power transfer”
Verdict: A solid series with a great villain
6 – Power Rangers Dino Thunder
Tommy returns amongst one of the best Ranger teams, all characters get a good amount of development and focus. Trent’s role as an antagonist turned protagonist is amazingly refreshed given Tommy’s experience of this himself in Season 1 which is later reflected in Trent and his father. The other three rangers are all fun likeable personalities and well rounded characters who are very representative and relate to anyone who grew up in the early 2000s. Does a fantastic job of reconnecting the power rangers universe after Ninja Storm and revitalises and plays tribute to the legacy of what came before it. Also Messagog is a fantastically dark and terrifying character and one of if not the best villain of the Disney era.
Verdict: Enthralling with a great Ranger team
5 – Power Rangers Lost Galaxy
One of the darker series and very series frequently killing off characters you like and dealing with the very serious repercussions and results of these as well as themes like slavery and individual destiny’s in a very adult and mature way. Leo, Karone, Magna Defender and Trakeena all go through amazing transitions over the course of the season for better and worse and are all fantastically complex characters. The Psycho Rangers also make a fantastic return and “To Tenth Power” and “The Power of Pink” are crossovers done right and in later one of the saddest episodes in the franchise.
Verdict: Dark, but great
4 – Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue
Greatest red ranger of all time in Carter as well as featuring some of the best villains in Queen Bansheera and Diabolico. The Mitchell family plot is one of the best in the franchise and the single part and filler episodes are genuinely emotive and polished developing well thought out messages. Without spoiling what happens “Trial By Fire” and “Wrath Of The Queen” are two of my favourites and frequently over looked episodes. The season doesn’t do that much uniquely that separates it from other seasons but everything it does is just well polished and has the right amount of emotion and thought behind it.
Verdict: Power Rangers polished to greatness
3 – Power Rangers RPM
RPM takes a widely different direction story wise the last Disney era season takes place in a post-apocalyptic world with the rangers fighting to protect the last city. Like the other Disney series it’s quite lighthearted but does have some vary dark and serious moments too. With each character getting their own and increasingly sad backstory in particular “Doctor K”. Dillon and Ziggy are two of the best rangers and work fantastically together. The season also has some of the most surprising revelations in the franchise’s history which I will not spoil. The season doesn’t require you to know anything about power rangers so I’d recommend starting with this season if you haven’t seen the show before.
Verdict: Start with this if you’re a Power Rangers newbie
2 – Power Rangers In Space
On a lot of best of lists I see this at the top and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. The inclusion of Andros and his dark back story brings a lot to the formerly turbo team, who developed well as actors and characters. Astronemas back story is an iconic moment in the franchise and the Psycho Rangers are genuinely menacing and there is a real sense of danger. The importance of the work in this series that is often overlooked in more lighthearted seasons. “The Secret Of The Locket” and “Dark Specter’s Revenge” are two of the saddest power ranger episodes and “Countdown to Destruction” brings what is known as the “Zordon Era” to an end in perfect style and grace.
Verdict: Almost the best Power Rangers series
1 – Power Rangers Time Force
One of the darkest and most serious seasons. Whilst S.P.D. addresses themes of prejudice and hints at racism, Time Force deals with these situations directly. The characters aren’t perfect and are better for it, [SPOILERS] The first red ranger Alex dies in the first episode, Jen is cold and un-trusting, Wesley is arrogant and lazy, and Eric is prejudiced and a possible racist. When Wesley finally accepts the responsibility of being a Ranger he struggles with the real weight of the responsibility and his father pushes him away. Ransik himself only becomes evil because of the bullying and mistreatment he receives because of his difference in a society that is otherwise “perfect”. [/SPOILERS] Don’t worry there are many other moments that I didn’t spoil. On a lighter note “Movie Madness” is a refreshingly lighthearted break to a very gritty season.
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