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Power Rangers Ninja Storm - Cyber Clash
The Power Rangers have been popular, in one form or another, with American boys for over ten years now. Based on a Japanese TV show, the American adaptation has had a very impressive run, morphing every couple of year into a new show with new Rangers and new villains. These changes have let the program stay fresh for youngsters, while retaining the basic structure and formula.
Power Rangers Ninja Storm is the latest incarnation of the Power Ranger franchise. The evil space alien ninja Lothor has destroyed all of the secret ninja academies on Earth, and captured all of the teachers and pupils. Only one sensei, his son Cam, and three students (Shane, Dustin and Tori) manage to escape to an underground ninja operations center. From here, joined by two other ninja student (Blake and Hunter)who managed to escape, they defend the earth from the frequent attacks of Lothor's minions.
This DVD, the fifth Ninja Storm DVD to be released, includes four episodes from the first season. They are presented in the order originally released.
Scent of a Ranger: Cam creates a 'Cyber-Cam' to help run the Ninja Ops, but things get out of control and the duplicate ties the real Cam up and joins the rangers with disastrous results. Meanwhile, Lothor sends Fragra, a perfume monster, to earth to turn the Rangers into bottles of liquid scents.
Not the best episode. I don't see how a perfume monster is supposed to appeal to young boys. The show doesn't take itself too seriously though, as shown when the real Cam and Cyber-Cam meet in front of the Rangers. Shane says "Didn't we already do a clone story?"
I Love Lothor: Lothor is informed by his two nieces, Marah and Kapri, that he is not liked on Earth. They find a TV producer monster, Mr. Ratwell, in his army and make a TV show containing subliminal messages that cause people to love the evil monster. Before they fall under the spell though, Cam and Blake accidentally drink a love potion that causes them to fight over Tori.
Another weak episode that is not really representative of the show. The monster, was annoying, and the fight was pretty short.
Good Will Hunter: Marah and Kapri sell Lothor's PAM (Personal Alien Manager) on line. It falls into the hands of a young boy who thinks it's a video game. He causes monsters to appear and disappear at random giving the Rangers a lot to keep up with.
A good episode, the funniest on this DVD. The frequently appearing and disappearing monsters were amusing, and the action was fast and constant.
All About Beevil: When it is claimed that Marah is not evil enough, she introduces Lothor to her evil friend Beevil. Beevil is so evil, that Lothor kicks out Marah and let's her friend take her place. Despondent, Marah journeys to earth where she befriends the yellow Ranger, Dustin. Marah convinces him to help her defeat Beevil, but can the Lothor's niece be trusted?
The best show on the disc. Beevil is a good villain, and the plot with Marah and Dustin was interesting.
There is a little bit of continuity in this set of show, but not much. These episodes do not form a story arc, but are four stand alone shows. The beginning and closing credits are shown once, at the beginning and ending of the disc, and are not shown between the episodes. The title of each show is left on, and, in any case, it's very easy to tell where one episode ends and the next begins.
These programs definitely got better as the disc went on. Not a great set of shows, but average. The last two make up for the first pair. These programs will have a lot of replay value for my children, who watch the reruns over and over on TV. A good disc for a Power Ranger fan.
The show is presented in surround sound. It sounds fairly average for a TV show. The explosions are not loud or booming, but the dialog is clear. There are English subtitles available.
Presented in full frame, as it was intended, the show looks alright. The entire disc had a slight grain to it, but it is not a major defect. The colors are not bright and vivid, nor are they muted. An average presentation.
This disc includes six of twelve Virtual Trading Cards. The other six are found on the Samurai's Journey DVD. I have no idea how you are supposed to "trade" them. When you select this option on the extras menu, you are brought to a menu with the twelve cards, six of which are highlighted and can be selected. Selecting a card enlarges it and shows you a looped scene of that Ranger or monster fighting. There are buttons below the scene that allow you to see their abilities, weapons and statistics. This text portion is very sparse, often only a couple of words. I got the feeling that they wanted to include a low cost extra, and this is what they came up with.
There is also a masked person performing a kata as the Ninja Moves extra. Sensei talks over it, and you can select watching it in real time, or one move at a time. It didn't do much for me, and I can't really see anyone trying to ape the moves, which are pretty basic.
There are also trailers to six movies and videos: Teacher's Pet, Pokemon Heroes, MXP: Most Xtreme Primate, Lion King 1 ½, Recess, Power Rangers Dino Thunder, and a spot for Disney on-line.
Not the best selection of episodes from this series, but not a bad disc either. There is no introduction besides the opening credits, so if you don't know who these Rangers are and who they are fighting before you watch the disc, this won't enlighten you much. Then again, you really don't need to know much. The Rangers are the good guys and Lothor and his monsters are the bad guys. That's one of the nice things about a formulaic show like the Power Rangers, you can jump in anywhere and not feel lost. Recommended for Power Ranger fans.