Battlizer Marathon - (Golden Goose) - Derik in Minnesota
Aug. 5th, 2005
05:57 pm - Battlizer Marathon - (Golden Goose)
So, Toon Disney is airing adds for the 'Rise of the Battlizer' marathon, celebrating Reflections p1+2 on the 12th, SPD's Battlizer Debut.
It's a good ad, using parts of Skyla's "only a person of the highest character can handle the power" speech from Ninja Storm to create the impression that there's an actual legacy here, some proud tradition of battlizer etc etc etc.
Probably the best PR ad Jetix has yet done, in terms of meshing stuff and using raw elements to create an impression.
It irritates me on two levels, neither directly related to the ad.
1) the original Battlizer was a piece of equipment, given to Andros to remote-control the non-piloted Zord. It's armor-up function wasn't discovered until 25 episodes later. Part of what made the original Battlizer so cool (And it was used FOUR TIMES, twice just for TRANSPORT because the ranger could achieve orbit with it) was that you didn't see it coming a mile away.
2) I hate the homogony of battlizers. For the last 4 years, we've had battlizers for armor-ups. Let's take a look at this, hrm?
PRiS - Battlizer Armor
PRLG - Armor Key
PRLR - Trans-Armor Cycle and Mega-Battles
PRTF - Battlefire and Mega-Battle
PRWF - Battlizer
PRNS - Battlizer
PRDT - Battlizer
There is... a wide world out there in the PRU. For 4 years these armor-ups were all different. Some series had two. (I happen to disagree that a series 'has' to have one at all, but then Bandai wants to sell the toys so I can grudgingly allow that.)
Now- Battlizer, every year. Why? "Because the Power Rangers have Battlizers, duh."
I dunno, Maybe I'm not explaining it well, it's hard, but...
Once upon a time, Power Rangers was a continuing story. Even Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, which started in a new place, with a new cast was UNDENIABLY the next stage in the same story that PriS told. Sometimes stories DO skip forward a generation, with new beginnings like that.
PRLR, however, was not the continuation of the story PRLG told. Nor was PRTF, or PRWF. Nort did they continue each other.
These were new iterations on the same theme, ostensibly set in the same universe- - but they really didn't seem like it.
I hate 'spinning tales in an iconic status quo.'
Because it's also 'spinning your wheels.' Nothing matters. A bunch of old-school fans came back to watch the show for DT to see what was up with Tommy. "What'd I Miss?" A list of teams and villains... "Yeah- but what's changed?"
...nothing. Nothing has changed, in six years. Nothing's been built that matters outside of its series, nothing destroyed that will matter next year. PR, so completely neutered and safe that you don't even have to bother watching, you know nothing's going on.
This is why no one reads Aquaman's comic. Shit, why do you have to? He's been doing the same thing for 40 years. He'll keep on doing it. And unlike Superman and Batman who interact and actually Do slowly grow in their relationships to the rest of the universe, Aquaman interacts only with his own proprietary cast that never appears in anyone else's series.
The last time anyone read Aquaman was when peter David cut off his hand and started DOING things with him again. People felt like they HAD to read his book, to figure out what was going to happen. This prompted lots of complaints from fans who, frankly, didn't want to read about Aquaman and told DC to 'just put him back.' They did, and readership immediately halved.
Know why people watched PRiS? Why it got surprisingly good ratings? Because everyone, INCLUDING the producers, thought it was going to be the last year. So they played rough and tumble width the universe and actually DID things and people turned in, fascinated, to watch. What will happen? Ratings were so strong they got a reprieve for PRLG, an showed WHAT HAPPENED NEXT...
...and then someone realized- we're going to have to KEEP DOING THIS... so PR got very safe, very confined. Villains threatened (I swear, I'm not joking) to destroy the CITY, not the Earth. References to previous seasons completely vanished outside of teamups.
Any PR fan will tell you PR's story ended with either PRiS or PRLG. Either way, by the time PRLR rolled around it was unquestionably-- over.
Why would I want to watch a series that's essentially an exhibition match? Where I know, once the series finale ends, none of this will matter next year?
And the Battlizer, each year, just BECAUSE- is symbolic of this. This 'you must tell stories in the iconic status-quo' ... crap.
The reason the Battlizer was used again in Power Rangers Wildforce was because the producer wanted to pick the term up, to build on past universal elements again, to weave PR's story TIGHTER again. Instead, since subsequent years have just 'done the same' the term has been completely devalues of whatever value it might have in tying the series closer together,
I know, broadly, what the producers of Wildforce wanted to do for Ninja Storm. To junk... a lot of Hurriranger's worst parts and instead install elements from past PR seasons in their place. Ninjor, Lightspeed, McKnight, training missions helmed by past rangers and appearances galore. (So easy to do-- all the actors live right there in CA!) To weave the last few years more tightly into the PRU, to make it whole again, and all parts of one continuing story.
...of course such a plan, to join all rangers together in a loose-knit alliance (Forever Red was the dry run, and a good indicator of what 'Ninja Force' was to have been) is fundamentally unsustainable. Either you have an age of heroes so powerful they're completely unstoppable and nothing can threaten them, and the story is again essentially over and just adding new characters, or you invite disaster, needing absolute cataclysmic defeats to tear down what you've now built.
The 'Ninja Force' approach is unsustainable. Which is why no PR season has ever done it- because you CAN'T, it'd END THE STORY. So instead PR jogs in place and does nothing, very neat.
How could PR possibly continue if it just kept DOING things? Once you do something like a vast alliance of Rangers, what else is there to do?
Show what happens NEXT. Because it's a continuing story. If you build a system that cannot sustain itself- than it must logically FALL, and the next year is the story of a new team debuting amid the chaos of that fall. Because- that's what happens NEXT.
What's next after SPD? NOTHING. Mystic Force isn't a continuation. It's almost certainly in fact set PRIOR to SPD. It's just... there.
You will kill Power Rangers' Golden Goose far more surely by coddling 's future viability than by playing rough with it. In a gilded cage, an animal's muscles atrophy, it's not HEALTHY being so thoroughly protected. We need FREE RANGE PR.
Christ. The story ENDED SEVEN YEARS AGO. More than half the series can just be IGNORED and doesn't matter.
SPD, will almost certainly end as DEKA did, with the fleet of Dekabases based on different animals. How... inconsequent.
But imagine for a moment that Mystic Force was a continuation, even if it WAS an all new cast? Imagine that you felt a need to DEAL WITH this galaxy-spanning organization you set up?
Even as a b-plot spread across SPD's middle episodes, I hunger to see SPD's destruction. When, because a giant alliance like that cannot be SUSTAINED by he series, it must be infiltrated, taken apart, it's hardware stolen or destroyed by the bad guys, the morphers absorbed, or captured by evil. The sense of scale, of purpose and consequence that brings...
...and the Mystic Force fight evil SPD rangers, one presumes.
There was also once a time when PR didn't do teamups if they didn't make sense to happen. Like PRDT/PRSPD. That time ended when PR's story ended. Now they do teamups every year.
SPD doesn't interest me. I know how SPD ends.
But what happens NEXT? THAT I want to see.