Zyu2 Essay

The Concept

When Margaret Loesch, the president of the now-defunct Fox Children’s Network, picked up a little show called Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers for the Fall 1993 season, many people didn’t expect the show to last for more than one season space, including the higher-ups. The show, which had been pitched time and time again, had a simple premise: take fight scenes from a Japanese Tokusatsu program, splice in footage featuring American characters, do some necessary voice over work, and you have a cheaply made children’s television show.

But, the unthinkable happened: the show became that year’s hit phenomenon. Ratings were through the roof and toy sales quickly greatly exceeded expectations. Then, an important question reared it’s ugly head: what happens when we run out of footage?

With 40 episodes filmed, utilizing nearly all the adaptable footage from the 50-episode sentai series Kyoryuu Sentai Zyuranger (also known by its international, English-language names of Galaxy Rangers and Dino Rangers), Saban Entertainment was at a crossroads. What happens next? How do they continue to produce episodes of America’s #1 Children’s television show if the Japanese footage that comprised around half of each episode was bled dry?

Solving The Problem

The working theory on what happened goes like this: Saban went to TOEI, ltd. hoping they could help rectify this problem. TOEI had previously shot additional footage featuring the villains in Rita’s palace exclusively for Power Rangers (referred to as “Zyu1.5” by fans since its discovery in the late 2000s), and now the hope was for more, but on a much greater scale.

In the end, TOEI commissioned 25 additional monster suits, in Zyuranger-style, and filmed footage of both Ranger-sized and Zord-sized battles for each of them. These monsters and the respective Japan-shot footage became what Power Rangers fans now universally refer to as Zyu2, a name given by Power Rangers fan Chris “Cmdr Crayfish” Funaro, who himself took his nickname from one of these very Zyu2 monsters.

With these new resources, Saban proceeded to crank out 20 additional episodes to bring the first season total to 60, utilizing 15 of these monsters, their accompanying pre-shot footage, as well as additional U.S.-filmed ground fights, directed and choreographed by Jeff Pruitt.

Realizing that they had achieved something that could last a while, Saban entered into negotiations with TOEI, ltd. to get the rights to adapt the next Sentai series, Gosei Sentai Dairanger, for the second season of Power Rangers. Many things would remain constant, such as the Ranger’s costumes and arsenal, however, the chance to upgrade the zords was something they couldn’t pass up (both in terms of ratings as well as toy sales).

Bridging The Gap

Saban Entertainment was certainly not a dumb company. Having chosen to continue to use the familiar Zyuranger hero costumes (and, accordingly, sell toys based on them), they still had 10 additional monsters with footage that they could utilize at the beginning of season two. The inclusion of Rita-style Putty Patrollers and the first season Dinozords, though, would present a problem. This led to some of the most ingenious and/or most horrible editing jobs in all of Power Rangers history.

Making sure not to show any shots of monster-zord contact, the producers spliced together Zyu2 footage of the monsters with footage of the Thunder Megazord from Dairanger footage, with lots of shots of sparks and explosions to bridge the gaps in between. There are many times where the editing was not quite perfect, and an attentive viewer can see a monster’s attack land on the original Megazord for a frame or two, before cutting to the Thunder Megazord reacting to an attack.

Season 2, as well as many later seasons, loved to bring back old monsters. While some monsters came back because they were favorites and their suits held up remarkably well (i.e. Eye Guy), in MANY cases, these monsters were monsters from Zyu2. Sure, the footage may have been exhausted, but these costumes were on hand, owned out-right by Saban Entertainment, and ready to fight one more time. So, for example, when Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa got married, most of the guests at the wedding were Zyu2 monsters.


The Fanon Story

At some point, it was speculated that some parts of the pre-shot Zyu2 footage could’ve formed a continuation for the original sentai series. After realizing this, Jesse “SirSTACK” Herndon came up with titles for each segment in the Zyu2 footage, naming them in a traditional sentai manner. While the suit actors would often show characteristics of both their Sentai and their Power Rangers counterparts, it is still highly unlikely that this continuation was ever the intention.

All footage stills are from adapted Zyu2 footage. Monster details borrowed (graciously) from Joe Rovang’s now-defunct “Writers’ Guide”. Micro-GIF monster images provided by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.

Goo Fish, shortly after his arrival on Earth.

“Resurgence! Wicked Sushi?!”
(adapted for Something Fishy)

Goo Fish, armed with a fish lance, was able to spray a stream of blue venom from his mouth, which would solidify into a yellowish glue. He was also able to throw exploding sand dollars, starfish, and fish, as well as fire a pulsating red energy beam from his eye.

Green Ranger Present? Unlikely.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Goo Fish illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Fighting Flea, ready to attack.

“The Red Rash Of Courage”
(adapted for To Flea or Not to Flee)

Fighting Flea had the ability to infect his enemies with an itch spell that could penetrate the Rangers’ suits. He could shoot needles from his nose, and yellow energy beams from his antennae.

Green Ranger Present? Unlikely.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Fighting Flea illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Jellyfish, ready to attack.

“The Invincible Big Jelly Strikes!!”
(adapted for Reign of the Jellyfish)

Jellyfish could shoot red pulses from his right hand, and was able to penetrate the Rangers’ suits with both blasts and a white gas-like toxic spray. He utilized an umbrella as a shield, and could both dodge attacks through teleportation and enter another dimension, where he could not be touched by the Rangers’ attacks, but could attack them.

Green Ranger Present? Unlikely.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Jellyfish illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Mantis, ready to attack.

“The Insect And The Prey”
(adapted for Plague of the Mantis)

Mantis was armed with razor-sharp claws, that could cut clean through tree trunks and could block Pink Ranger’s arrows.

Green Ranger Present? Unlikely.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Mantis illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Dramole, preparing to use his gas attack.

“Arise! The Fallen Brother’s Spirit”
(adapted for Return of an Old Friend)

Dramole could travel underground, darken the sky, shoot red and yellow energy bolts from his eyes, and was able to produce a hypnotic gas, turning the 4 Rangers against Pink Ranger. Upon seeing this, Green Ranger appeared, dousing the area with red energy rays, brightening the sky, and freeing the Rangers from the spell.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Dramole illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Grumble Bee, ready to attack.

“Buzz! Stinging Nuisance”
(adapted for Grumble Bee)

Grumble Bee possessed vibrating wings which could send yellow pulses of energy through the air. He shot stingers from his fingertips and greenish-yellow venom from his mouth.

Green Ranger Present? Unlikely.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Grumble Bee illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Two-Headed Parrot, ready to attack.

“Double Squawk! Flapping Destruction”
(adapted for Two Heads Are Better than One)

The Two-Headed Parrot was armed with feather darts, red multi-eye beams, and mouth projectiles. However, it had a weakness for a particular kind of fruit.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Ultrazord.

Two-Headed Parrot illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Peckster, taunting the Rangers.

“Prank Of The Tricky Crow”
(adapted for Fowl Play)

Peckster was armed with a super-strong beak, which could peck through anything. He had the ability to fly, as well as cause windstorms with his wings.

Green Ranger Present? Unlikely.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Peckster illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Lizzinator, ready to attack.

“Macho! The Vandalized Cars”
(adapted for Enter... the Lizzinator)

The Lizzinator had super strength, able to pick up and throw cars with ease. He could shoot red eye-beams and white gas from his mouth.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Ultrazord.

Lizzinator illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Pumpkin Rapper, ready to throw his vine.

“Dangerous Pumpkin Harvest”
(adapted for Trick or Treat and Zedd’s Monster Mash)

Pumpkin Rapper was able to enclose both the Golems’ as well as the Rangers’ heads in pumpkins. He was able to tie up the Rangers using his vines. When giant, he was armed with Pumpkin Bombs.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Pumpkin Rapper illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Slippery Shark, ready to attack.

“Argue! Sibling Indifference”
(adapted for On Fins and Needles)

Slippery Shark was armed with a boomerang, and had the ability to fly through the air and speed underground, as well as teleport.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Slippery Shark illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Soccadillo, ready to attack.

“Decisive Soccer Match!”
(adapted for Second Chance)

Soccadillo could roll up into a ball, which was able to absorb most attacks. He could fire bluish-white energy from his forearms and his eyes.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Ultrazord.

Soccadillo illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Rhinoblaster, ready to attack.

“Evil American-Football Game!”
(adapted for Football Season)

Rhinoblaster was flanked with football jersey-wearing Putties. When giant, his white nose mist whisked the Rangers to another dimension. He possessed a curved sword, from which he could shoot energy bolts.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Ultrazord.

Rhinoblaster illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Commander Crayfish, and his Mutant Rangers.

“The Horrible Taskforce Strikes Back?!”
(adapted for Mighty Morphin’ Mutants)

Commander Crayfish was accompanied by evil versions of the Rangers (sans Red Ranger), each armed with their own versions of the Rangers’ weapons, as well as a combined team cannon.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Ultrazord.

Commander Crayfish illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Oysterizer, on the beach.

“Terror Below The Waves”
(adapted for An Oyster Stew)

Oysterizer could shoot pink acid gel from his stomach-region and flaming energy from his face. He was armed with a pearl and blade chained weapon. He was able to battle the zords underwater.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Oysterizer illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Pirantishead, ready to attack.

“Great Revolt! The Fish Puppeteer”
(adapted for The Mutiny)

Pirantishead appeared on a rooftop and took control of the Rangers’ Zords, using Tyrannosaurus and Dragonzord against the Rangers. Eventually, Blue Ranger blocks his signal and regains control of the Zords.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Ultrazord.

Pirantishead illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Primator, jumping up and down.

“The White Baboon Of Mimic”
(adapted for The Wanna-Be Ranger)

Primator was able to take the appearance of each of the Rangers, confusing the Rangers. Eventually, he saw his own reflection, causing a colorful result - a multi-colored Power Ranger fake!

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Ultrazord.

Primator illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Saliguana, preparing to charge.

“Burn! The Scaly Reptile”
(adapted for Putty on the Brain)

Saliguana was armed with fire breath and a long red tongue.

Green Ranger Present? Unlikely.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Saliguana illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Bloom of Doom, ready to use her pollen.

“Blossoming Jealousy”
(adapted for Bloom of Doom)

The Bloom of Doom was armed with harmful pollen, and her eye was able to teleport Pink Ranger to her alternate, cactus-filled dimension.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Bloom of Doom illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Octophantom, admiring himself.

“The Squid’s Thieving Jar”
(adapted for The Power Stealer)

Octophantom captured all but the Red Ranger and Blue Ranger in his evil jar. Blue Ranger was able to come up with a plan, distracting the monster with a mirror and then attacking with his lance.

Green Ranger Present? No.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Octophantom illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Stag Beetle, about to blast the Rangers.

“Scramble For The Scarab!”
(adapted for The Beetle Invasion)

Stag Beetle was armed with many-colored energy beams, and trapped the Rangers on a cliff-side.

Green Ranger Present? No.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Stag Beetle illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Invenusable Fly Trap, laughing at the Rangers.

“Deadly Trap Of The Flytrap!”
(adapted for Welcome to Venus Island)

Invenusable Fly Trap was able to trap all but the Yellow Ranger and Green Ranger in her chest.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Megazord.

Invenusable Fly Trap illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Robogoat, and the powerful sword.

“The Brother’s Sword Of Hope”
(adapted for The Green Dream)

The Robogoat was originally armed with a powerful sword, and was able to trap four of the Rangers’ in his armor. A battle with Red Ranger cost him his prisoners and the sword. Upon growing to giant size, he was armed with a red staff.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Ultrazord.

Robogoat illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Guitardo, and his evil guitar.

“Hark! Musical Cicada Attacks!!”
(adapted for The Song of Guitardo)

Guitardo used his evil guitar to place a spell on the Rangers, and suspend them in mid-air. Pink Ranger, using her bow as a harp, and Green Ranger, using his Dagger as a flute, were able to weaken the monster, and then by combining their weapons, they were able to destroy him.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Unclear.

Guitardo illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.
Turbanshell, looking for food.

“Tempered Shell! Burai Dies Again...”
(adapted for Green No More)

Gigantic Turban Shell began attacking the city, so the Rangers summoned their Zords. It required a combination of the recently digested Green Ranger’s heat attack and the Mastodon’s frozen mist attack to allow the Rangers to gain the upper-hand after a lengthy battle.

Green Ranger Present? Yes.
Method of Final Defeat? Ultrazord.

Turbanshell illustration by Christian “MegaZeo” Salabert.