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Power Rangers Ninja Storm - Samurai's Journey
Starting with the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers, the Power Ranger franchise has been on television, in one incarnation, for over ten years. That's a pretty impressive run for a show, especially when you consider how many programs have come an gone in that time. This DVD, Samurai's Journey, gives you a good idea why they've lasted this long.
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 fourth Ninja Storm DVD to be released, includes four episodes from the first season. They are presented in the order originally released.
Pork Chopped: This is a stand alone episode, but a good one. Lothor send a new monster, General Trayf, to attack the Rangers. He manages to capture the two Thunder Rangers takes them to another dimension. The three Wind Rangers follow him and battle in this strange area. (Favorite line on the DVD: The Rangers follow Trayf through a dimensional portal and land on the hard ground. They look around and one of them moans "Oh no, not another rock quarry.")
Samurai's Journey part 1: These next three episodes form a single story. (The entire story is on this DVD...you won't have to buy another disc to see how it ends.) Lothor's latest monster, Madtropolis, has a mystical sphere that drains the energy from all five Power Rangers. Using the last of their powers, they are able to regain the sphere, but are unable to open it.
Samurai's Journey part 2: Cam travels back in time to gain a power source that no longer exists in the present. With only a short period of time before the time travel spell wears off, Cam must locate and obtain this great power.
Samurai's Journey part 3: In the last episode, a new ranger appears, the Green Samurai Ranger. Lothor has sent five monsters to attack the earth at the same time but in different places. Can the rangers with the aid of their new comrade defeat all these menaces?
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.
This is a good Power Ranger DVD. The stories are all very good, and are filled with action. It is better than the Cyber Clash released the same week. (Read my review of Power Rangers Ninja Storm: Cyber Clash.) There are secrets revealed, and new weapons. A new Ranger appears, and there are a lot of monsters to fight. A great DVD for the young and young at heart.
The show is presented in surround sound. It sounds fairly average for a TV show. The levels of the rear speakers are pretty low, and are not used much. 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 Cyber Clash 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. This is a different Kata than appears on the Cyber Clash DVD. 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.
This DVD is a lot of fun. It is enhanced by the fact that three of the episodes are part of the same story. Continuity wise, a lot happens in the Samurai's Journey series too, not the least of which is the introduction of a new Ranger. Significantly more entertaining than the Cyber Clash DVD released at the same time, this is a DVD that is sure to please Power Ranger fans. A disc that they will want to watch again and again. Recommended.