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Power Rangers Megaforce Episode Review: Mega Mission

February 3, 2013

(NOTE: All photos in review were from Megaforcecast.com, and permission was given from @Rangercrew/Rangercrew.com to use the screencaps. For more pictures from the episode, please check out the site above.)

After two long years of Power Rangers Samurai, we’re finally moving on to the next season of Power Rangers, Power Rangers Megaforce. With the adaptation of Tensou Sentai Goseiger (with brief scenes from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, Super Sentai’s 35th Anniversary Show, but we’ll get to that in a moment), many fans, including myself, were very worried about the quality of this upcoming adaptation. Would it be handled in the same fashion Samurai/Super Samurai was? It was worrisome, as most people would not accept another season with the same quality as the previous season, especially during the 20th anniversary of the franchise.

Here’s the thing (and let’s get this out of the way right now), this first episode of Power Rangers Megaforce is MMPR heavy. What I mean by that is there’s a lot of references in this episode to MMPR’s first episode, Day of The Dumpster. Some lines in the episode sound similar (with one or two lines being close to the same) as some in the lines used in Power Ranger’s first episode. Now, depending on what you want out of the season, this could be good or bad. Some people will like the way the episode references MMPR’s first. Others will not care for the way the episode chose to pay homage to the first episode, and feel there should have been more originality. Considering the fanbase has a lot of opinions and views on what Power Rangers should be, there’s nothing wrong with either opinion. However, those of you who would prefer the season to be a little more original may not be as happy with the episode.

That being said, I think most people agree that this episode should a bit more effort than Samurai’s episode did. I for one, also feel this is true. This episode has a lot to talk about, so we’re going to jump right into it.

Let’s take a look first at our team of rangers first.

Troy

I feel Troy hasn’t been given enough time for me to fully judge his character. Other than the fact that he’s the new kid, (and we were very briefly able to see him practicing martial arts on a random building… which had a nice camera shot by the way) I feel like his character didn’t exactly stick out as much as the other characters did. Gosei did make a mention that Troy has been through some struggles in the past, which sounds like an interesting place to explore though. Still, I feel like Troy was just… there. Maybe an extra minute or two would have helped, but I understand the first episode had a lot to cover, so I’ll shrug this off for now.

Acting wise, he didn’t wow me. He wasn’t bad, but again, I feel as if he didn’t really get a chance to shine. But because this was the “pilot” episode of Megaforce, I’m willing to let this slide for now and give the actor sometime to get a little more comfortable. Hopefully he will improve as time goes on.

Emma

One thing I was hoping for was more fleshed out and respectable female rangers. Thankfully, from what I’ve seen of both girls (I’ll get to Gia in a moment…), it seems like that has indeed happened. While Emma isn’t my favorite of the two female rangers (although she is more fleshed out than Gia is at the moment), she is still far more respectable than Mia and Emily were (at least in this first episode.) She’s a rather interesting character, as she is shown to take an active interest in the environment, as well as have multiple hobbies. She’s apparently a photographer, and enjoys riding BMX bikes. Personally, I think she has potential to have some interesting character arcs. Hopefully the writers give the character treat this character with care.

Acting wise, she was ok. Better than Troy, but not my favorite character at the moment. That being said, I do see potential from the actor, and feel confident enough that (providing the writers/directors do everything properly) that she’ll be good in my book. (Just try not to use another Kimberly line… that was kind of awkward…)

Noah

I’m not entirely sure how to feel about Noah. On one hand, I feel like he’s a little bit too much of a Billy clone (the other characters didn’t feel that way to me. Troy did have some moments that that made him seem like Jason, but his character didn’t feel like a clone of him). The problem is, I don’t feel like he has the same charm Billy did. That being said, his interaction with Jake was enjoyable. I am looking forward to seeing more scenes between him and Jake, which will hopefully flesh out the character a little more.

I’m not sure what to think about his acting. Again, he never actually wowed me, but he does have good chemistry with Jake’s actor. That was something that was lacking in Samurai, good chemistry between the rangers. It’s something I feel that will help improve his acting over time, provided he has good material and direction to work with. I feel hopeful he’ll be good in the future.

Gia

Gia is one of the two rangers that stuck out the most to me this episode. While her character wasn’t as fleshed out as Emma’s was, the way Gia acted in the episode made me much more interested in her character than Emma. She just came off as confident, and the exact opposite of Emily. (Thank god!) After two years of female characters being poorly handled, the way Gia’s character was portrayed was very satisfying. I just wished we had a little bit more time to see her hobbies and interests. Again, I understand that there’s was a lot to cover in the episode, but I just wish we had more time to explore her character. Hopefully, the writers will take the time to do that this season.

Gia’s actor wanted to be on Power Rangers badly, and her acting clearly shows she wants to be there. She was one of the two characters I felt stuck out the most to me, and I have little doubt in her acting ability in the future. Just as long as the writers and directors guide her properly, that way we don’t have another Mia and Emily situation.

Jake

Jake is a mix between a somewhat cocky/confident character, and the “I’ve got a crush on you and that’s all I can think about” character. That being said, I didn’t have an issue with the way he was being portrayed. He has great chemistry with Noah, he has interests (he’s into soccer and is shown during the civilian fight sequence to find creative ways to fight using his skills), so I kind of like him. I can see some people possibly being annoyed with him, but personally I think he’s a good character. I’m looking forward to seeing more character interaction between him and Gia (that isn’t just “I like you but I can’t talk to you” or “Hi! I’m overconfident and awesome, you should totally swoon over me.) as well as more interaction between Noah and him, which I feel can be a strong point of the show.

Jake’s actor does a fine job in this episode. Like Gia’s actor, I feel like he is putting effort into his acting, and I feel as more episodes come out, his potential will show off more. Just as long as his character doesn’t turn into a Mike (who became a real jerk…) I shouldn’t have any issue with him.

Now, let’s take a look at our supporting cast:

Gosei

An obvious homage to Zordon, Gosei is essentially a giant sized version of the Power Morpher, with a part of it’s mouth that glows. (Although from what Gosei said, he’s only taking the form around humans, and it is not his real form). His look isn’t the most creative (which some people will take issue with…) but quite frankly, I’m not bothered by it. He sounds very similar to Zordon, which I think is a nice touch.

He also notes that Zordon was his mentor, which I thought was an interesting idea. Provided that they run with this in future episodes, which can allow for some nice universe building for both newcomers and long time fans. Just as long as it is mentioned in future episodes. That’s all I ask.

Tensou

Yes, the obvious homage to Alpha. He looks like a cross between Wall-E and Johnny Five, which may not be as interesting to some people… especially considering he’s a CGI character. We didn’t get a lot of time with him, so I can’t really give any big opinions on him. He’s ok, but I’ll be able to judge him better as time goes on.

Ernie

No. This is not that Ernie. It’s a different guy, who owns a juice bar that teens hang out at (EDIT: Whoops! Turns out this is not a juice bar! More like a ice cream parlor. My mistake everyone!) … but he’s not Ernie. We really didn’t spend that much time with him. Quite frankly, I have no opinion of him at the moment. He was just kind of there. Some people won’t be happy that another character named Ernie is running a juice bar, and feel this character could be a bad call. I say wait a few more episodes so we can get a better idea of what this character is like.

Mr. Burley

Because the rangers are back at high school, we have a teacher character. Again, not enough time with him to judge him properly. He seems like a generic teacher character, but we’ll see if he gets interesting or not.


Next up, let’s look at our villains.

Admiral Malkor

Our current big bad of the season. Sounds a little like a generic bad guy, but hey, he’s not annoying. We didn’t get a lot of time to spend with the villains, considering there was a lot to cover this episode. Hopefully he’ll get some more time to shine in the future. One thing I will say though is that I always liked the look of this character in Goseiger, and he still looks cool here.

Creepox

See above. Creepox is my favorite villain in terms of looks.

Vrak

Vrak’s dialogue is the usual generic villain speech, but I do kind of like the voice. With a little better dialogue and some more time to shine, he could be interesting. But again, not a lot of time with this villain.

Scaraba (Our Monster of the Week)

He was a little bit bland to be honest. He wasn’t annoying like some of the Samurai MotW(s) were, but he wasn’t exactly interesting either. Still, he gets the job done at least. Not much to talk about with him.

Loogies (Grunts)

I love the sound these guys make. They actually sound kind of cool, and in the beginning came off as somewhat interesting. But hey, they are the grunts. No one ever expects the grunts to be that much of a challenge/interesting. They get the job done. Their name could be better, but it’s fine.

Now let’s get into the main critiques of the episode itself:

Theme Song

I’m mixed on this theme. On one hand, the stuff that was added sounded really good. On the other hand, they didn’t change a lot from the original Samurai theme. Still, it isn’t a horrible theme, and the MMPR music works a little better for the 20th Anniversary season. Hopefully, there will be more originality in the future. One thing I didn’t care for though was the name call part in the intro. Really wish they would stop doing that.

Morphing Sequence

This morphing sequences is very similar to Dino Thunder’s and SPD’s. It does involve the rangers backflipping, which some might not be a fan of. The background of the morph seems a little bland, but isn’t that bad in my opinion. While not our best looking Morph, it does look nice in my opinion, and honestly, not our worst one. Another thing to be happy about is that they’ve already shown how long the morphing sequence can be stretched out to. Why is this important? Because Samurai/Super Samurai abused the length of the morphing sequence to eat into episode time. At one point, we had a 2 minute morphing sequence. This one isn’t too long, and they can’t use it to pad out the episode. Thank goodness!

Sets

I love the look of the school, as well as the little juice bar area they had. Once again, this season was filmed beautifully, and it only makes the settings look that much nicer. The on-location areas also looked really nice as well. Some of you may not care for the Command Center though. It is essentially a “Bat Cave” like area with a few pillars that have monitors, with Gosei hanging on a wall. Some will think it is very bland. Others may like it. Essentially, your millage may vary. I myself have no issue with the set. One thing I think everyone did like though, were the little ranger keys/statues of former Power Ranger teams. I think all of us are very curious to see how these come into play in season 2…

Writing

As stated above, you’re either going to hate the way they wrote this episode, or love it. Some of the lines come very close to being directly taken from “Day of the Dumpster”, which some people won’t care for. Hopefully, future episodes will stand on their own. Still, for what is essentially the “pilot” episode, the writing felt much better than Samurai’s. Hopefully, the show will stand on its own two feet over time.

Original Fight Scenes/Footage Usage

I loved what they did this episode. From the unmorphed fight scenes to the original in-suit scenes. The unmorphed fight scenes looked pretty awesome, as you could see little bits of each characters skills and personalities be used during the fight. Noah, Gia, and Jake are the best examples of this, from what I remember. The original in-suit shots looked pretty nice also, although there wasn’t a lot of it because Sentai footage needed to be used, but it looked pretty cool. Speaking of Sentai Footage, I can’t believe how well the footage was used. I noticed some brief grunt fight scenes from a few goseiger episodes (it was used briefly, so it can easily be used again later) and it blended together fantastically. One of my biggest complaints was the way Sentai footage was used, and thankfully everything blended together just find. Nice work editing team! (Also, I have to say that, unlike with Samurai, the footage worked really well with the characters personalities. Despite watching Goseiger a few times, I completely forgot about the characters from the sentai and actually believed it was the rangers during the times the footage was used. Big improvement in my book.)

Additional Comments

– The Legend War Dream in the beginning was a fantastic idea. I loved seeing it again, and I hope they refer to it again a few times to build up to the actual fight in the future. Based on Troy’s reaction to seeing the Ranger Key/Statues in the base, I’m hoping there’s a good chance this will indeed happen.


The Japanese Goseiger cards were used during morphing. Some won’t care for this. Personally, I wasn’t bothered… except for how when the morph cards were first taken out, they showed a picture of each ranger on it, and then when they raised the cards, the image vanished and then had a quick sequence where it magically came back again. Editing Team, please don’t do that again.

– The ending felt like the actors were starting to get a little sloppy acting wise. Hopefully that doesn’t happen again.

– Overall, the episode felt like it could have gone at a little slower pace, but if they have a lot they want to cover this season with the characters/plots, then I can forgive this. If not, then they maybe should have considered doing two episodes to space things out better.

Final Thoughts

Personally, I liked the episode. It definitely felt much better than most Samurai episodes, which is a plus in my book. A valid criticism is that the episode could have handled the homages to MMPR a little better, but I’m the camp where I wasn’t as bothered with it. Still, as long as the season finds a way to stand on its own feet, I won’t mind the occasional homage here or there. After all, this season is an anniversary season. But I can easily understand the mindset of wanting more originality.

Could the actors have acted a little better? Sure. Were there issues here and there. Yes. But it’s the first episode, and I’m willing to let things slide as everyone tries to get comfortable and figure out how they want to approach things. As long as things improve over time, I’ll have no issues with Megaforce. I’m just happy the characters are actually respectable and have personalities, which is what I wanted from Samurai these past two years.

I’m going to give this episode a 4/5. Some people will love this episode, while others may not stand it. I myself fall into the former category. It wasn’t the greatest first episode in Power Rangers history, but it got the job done well enough.  It shows potential, and I think that’s all we wanted Megaforce to show us after two years of Samurai.

Thanks for reading my review of the first episode of Power Rangers Megaforce “Mega Mission”. Please feel free to comment and critique my review, as it is the only way I can stop doing stupid things you may spot in the review.

Come back next week following the airing of the new episode “He Blasted Me With Science!”, and we’ll see if the show starts to find its groove and show more depth to these new characters.

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3 Comments
  1. Hey Silent, it's DigiRanger1994. I very much enjoyed reading this review. Nicely written. I'm glad you acknowledged the effort in giving this Go Go Power Rangers its Megaforce identity. It had personality to it more so than the remix's originator, which only changed one line. Megaforce's did much more. With Mr. Burley, he kind of just seems there. Ms. Appleby didnt make that much of an impression on me either, so I just see him fulfilling his purpose, getting involved with subplots for a handful of episodes, but staying flat as a character. Now, about Ernie's Brainfreeze… it's NOT a juice bar. It's an ice cream parlor, at least primarily, Think Pinkberry, Cold Stone, and TCBY. And I call it parlor even though nowadays establishments like the examples I gave don't have the lighthearted atmosphere the word "parlor" connotates. I was surprised they named him Ernie, but I was fine with it. The Avatar fandom received Korra's Commander Iroh much warmer than PR with Ernie. Even so, it's not like there can only be one Ernie in the Power Rangers universe. Hope the fandom has fun learning Ernie's actor's name.I found the acting much improved over Samurai. They were all really fun to watch. As I was writing this, I overcame my annoyance at Tensou not having clearly defined visual receptors (Does he have one eye, two, or three? If either of the former, which ones are his eyes?) But then I realized the Alpha models definitely lacked eyes but had plenty Ayiyiyiyis. The Legend War premonition was either a vision of the future or an implanted memory (which explains the inclusion of Sentai teams and Robo Knight being an onlooker from above) as well as a warning that it's gonna happen again with this new threat, because hey, the 4 American Rangers want in.And the best quality of the new Rangers: They're not overbearing and overemotional! They're teenagers with talent AND attitude!

  2. "Now, about Ernie's Brainfreeze… it's NOT a juice bar. It's an ice cream parlor, at least primarily, Think Pinkberry, Cold Stone, and TCBY. And I call it parlor even though nowadays establishments like the examples I gave don't have the lighthearted atmosphere the word "parlor" connotates."Gah! You're right. Let me correct that now!

  3. It’s hard to come by experienced people in this particular subject,
    but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

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