Power Rangers Samurai, Episode 12 – Room for One More

The Rangers are wondering whether or not to accept Antonio into the team since they don’t really know who he is or what he’s about. Jayden tells them about their childhood, how playing with him was the only time he felt like a real kid.

Antonio arrives and gives himself big fanfare with a fishing pole as he enters. But he fails when he hooks and rips his pants. Jayden tells the others to help him and he leaves to laugh to himself, reminiscing about the times he’d train Antonio and how Mentor/Ji/whatever would shoo him away from bothering Jayden while training.

Back inside, Mentor/Ji/whatever takes Antonio’s morpher and asks how in the world he could have created one.

But Mentor/Ji/whatever says he doesn’t have the proper Samurai training to be one of the Rangers, so he takes the morpher.

The alarm sounds and they head off. Antonio asks Jayden to vouch for him, but he doesn’t and says it’s best for him to stay out of battle.

The Rangers meet the Nighlok and get their butts handed to them. Maybe they need the help after all.

Antonio sulks at the docks. Mike and Emily come to see him.
Back home, Mia tries to understand Jayden. They spar as Mia suggests Jayden is worried that having a childhood friend back somehow makes him appear weaker as a leader. And that having a close friend in battle, risking his life for him, their leader is just too much pressure to bear.

Emily and Mike bring Antonio back to the mansion (so it’s a mansion!), and after some more eye flirting between them, Jayden welcomes him to the team.

Antonio joins the Rangers as they head to fight off the Nighlok. They zord up and Antonio summons the Octozord. They combine and the six of them are together.

They head home to celebrate with Antonio grilling some fish for them. Mia continues her delusion that her cooking is delicious as Jayden and Mentor/Ji/whatever say that maybe it’s a good thing Antonio is here. That yeah, maybe what Jayden is doing is the right thing.

Episode Thoughts
Well, color me shocked when the episode was not as terrible as we’ve had to suffer through. I hesitate to use the word “good,” but it was… again, relative to the rest of the season.

It was actually refreshing to see the Rangers unmorphed. And their acting was actually very tolerable this episode and I believe that is thanks in large part to them not getting hurled at with puns in the script. They left those to the Nighloks this week.

The episode gave hope, no matter how small, that the cast can do alright if they spoke like normal people instead of acting as pun dispensers.

That’s not to say however that they had flawless performances. The “tense” scene between Antonio and Mentor/Ji/whatever was the most painful to watch of the episode. Sorry Steven Skyler and Rene Naufahu… but that was really bad.

I will ignore that suit on Antonio being some kind of wink or nod to Steven Skyler’s short stint as a Warbler or whatever that group’s called on Glee.

What I can’t ignore is the oversight of using Kiwi kids, who are very nice children, I’m sure, to play the younger versions of non-Kiwi adults. I mean, really? You couldn’t have dubbed them or used that autotuning like you do on Rene Naufahu’s voice?

And bonita bite? Fantastico? Magnifico? Oh shut up-o. That’s cringe-worthy and forced.

Plus what’s with using the Shinkenger roll call for Genta in Steven Skyler’s opening credits? It’s like they don’t give a crap with this show.

Oh… wait, yeah.

Sentai or Power Rangers?: You have to ask?
Corresponding Shinkenger Episode: Act 18 – Samurai Promotion
I am looking forward to the day when Power Rangers Samurai doesn’t directly translate episodes and this section of the recap/reviews will be useless.

But doesn’t look like it’ll happen so, on we go.

Shinkenger’s story is considerably heavier and deeper than maybe Samurai aspires to be, even though they’re translating every single line and direction from the scripts.

Shinkenger’s backstory for Takeru and Genta was much less cliché as it is for Jayden and Antonio. Much less homoerotic, that’s for sure. But (and thanks to better child actors in Japan), the backstory held more meaning in Shinkenger.

It furthered the aspect of the story where Takeru continues to put up a wall to the others, maybe because of his secret and not wanting anyone to risk their lives for him, because of that secret. He’s presented himself to the other Shinkengers as a cold, but strong leader. And Genta’s arrival slowly loosens him up. He becomes more comfortable as the others learn more about who he is and where he comes from. They start bonding and the forming of actual friendships with his team rather than just a lord-retainer vibe.

Samurai’s take on the story is certainly more cliché. They were good childhood friends. Now he’s back, but because of their bond, he doesn’t want Antonio to risk his life for him thanks to this big bad secret. There’s also no need for Antonio to be a Spanish Genta because Jayden doesn’t need a goofball to loosen him up. It’s a characterization that didn’t need to be translated over since Genta is as much a necessary part of Takeru’s character as he is his own character. That’s not the case in Samurai, so all the bonita bites are just pointless and of no use.

And finally, there’s the differing characterizations of Mentor Jii. For example, in taking the gold morpher, the real Jii was just being cautious. Knowing what kind of a kid Genta was, who would’ve thought he’d be a good fighter and a smart Samurai. Fake Ji/Mentor/whoknows was just being an ass and condescending.

And that’s been the difference between the two. Real Jii understands Takeru’s dilemma, but supports him and their mission. Fake Ji is emotionless and condescending without purpose. He takes the hard line, but with nothing to back it up.

Ah well. So goes Power Rangers Samurai.
Fun how my episode thoughts are longer than the actual recap.

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0 thoughts on “Power Rangers Samurai, Episode 12 – Room for One More

  1. I totally agree with what you critiqued! Actually, I’m a big fan of your critiques every week. (I’m a giant fan of Shinkenger, and all of the Sentai series since 2004.) And this week, after doing what I normally do after reading your review (which is play my Japanese episode side by side the American version), I can’t agree with you more!

    I also have to, sadly, admit that I don’t think they (Saban) got the character personality right with the “Antonio” character in the American version. Honestly I think that this past week’s eipsode, PRS lost it’s appeal to me as a long-time Saban fan; maybe it’s the fact that the little details in Shinkenger are left out which results in a “less serious” series and overall episode feel than its Japanese counterpart. Also, I don’t know if it was the PRS spin on ShinkenGold or the dischord that was lacking between Jayden and Antonio. Either way, Antonio’s character really is a bad fit as Genta, and his sense of comedy is just lame. Hopefully in the upcoming episodes the writers of PRS can town him down and mold him into a “better” American “Genta.”

    Urgh, either way, you do a great job with your weekly reviews and I really appreciate reading along with your critiques! It’s good to know that at least someone else out there “has” and “does” believe in side-by-side comparison of Sentai and Power Rangers and believes that “if you are going to copy something…do it correctly.”

    1. Thank you very much. That is a great compliment. It sucks to have to compare two “different” series side by side, but it is unavoidable: 1. Because I am a huge fan of Shinkenger and it being my first Sentai ever, it’s going to be very special for me. And 2. When you copy every line, every shot, every direction, you better do it BETTER than the original/source material and/or infuse your own originality OR don’t do it at all and start from scratch.

      The biggest problem for PRS really is their copy and pasting into Google Translate which doesn’t work because they are cherry picking aspects of Shinkenger and then putting the pieces together on Power Rangers which results in a convoluted mess. Characterizations and plot points that work in Shinkenger may not work in PRS, yet they have done nothing to fix that.

      I really have no idea why I keep watching. Maybe I am holding on to hope that by some miracle, everything changes, the show does a complete 180 and actually becomes worth watching.

  2. frankly ive basically lost all hope for samurai at this point, the only reason im even watching it anymore is nostalga, and to be honest thats all i think the season is doing, its just throwing together poorly adapted (and i use the word adapted VERY loosely) sentai, not even proofreading their scripts or rehearsing, and then taking advantage of nostalgic fans (who would watch the show regardless) to keep the show going even though its probably the worst season in the history of PR (and this is coming from someone who actually liked most of the disney seasons).

    This season is basically all flash and no real substance, out of the heroes only the green ranger’s actor is actually competent, they wasted Bulk’s character, they could have given the mentor some purpose or atleast an actual name, the shodophone/samuraizer not going into pen mode and the custom zord cockpits was pointless since basically they’re copying shinkenger almost exactly and just gave up a chunk of sentai footage to spend money remaking them while the story and acting (which is where they should have been diverting their resources) was tanking, and though most of the other actors/actresses were showing signs of some improvement they should have improved to the level they’re at over a few episodes not almost half the season.

    not to mention the fact that they still haven’t given a proper pilot, even in seasons were we jumped right into the rangers having their powers (like WF or RPM) we were at least given a back story and saw at least one ranger getting his powers so we knew what was going on, all we see here is a small narration of the rangers “Japanese?” ancestors fighting off nighloks, i know its a kids show but come on

    and really “go go samurai” is the best morph call they could come up with, not to mention calling the foot soldiers moogers, if thats seriously the best they could do they should have called the monsters “monsters” and called the foot soldiers nighloks

    I don’t get how they could go from the masterpieces they made in the 90s and early 2000’s to this and whats really sad is that despite this long rant ill still probably anticipate the next episode just because of nostalga again.

    1. At least the Disney seasons had some sort of ambition. It seems like the main goal of PRS is to put something, anything on air so more toys can be sold . 🙁

  3. Here’s my hope for the franchise. I’m hoping that since Samurai is the first season after the Disney-to-Saban move, maybe they’re still trying to figure everything out (some of the story issues might be explained by the fact that the show was bought back in May and production began in August, so everything could be explained by being rushed.)
    I’m hoping that when they adapt the next season (which seems almost like a guarantee, since their ratings are apparently really good) and Saban has gotten back into the groove, things will get better. It seems like it might have to, since I don’t think that Goseiger’s “warrior angel” theme will fly well in America. I say just hope for the best.

  4. I can not describe in words the love I feel for Power Rangers unfortunately not checked the Rangers pick up some older too old for love Might Morphin especially won my heart and I love seeing this song again and Bulk Power Ranger Samurai liked too, and I like much of Mia and Jayden are my favorites hope to see more seasons of Power Rangers and the Rangers will complete.
    I love Power Rangers ……

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