Welcome to Tokusatsu Gesundheit, where I’m preempting the planned examination of some Strange Times & Places to highlight a recent Power Rangers short film that dropped on YouTube: Power Rangers Legacy Wars – Street Fighter Showdown AKA “The Early 90s Strikes Back”.
Ryu & Chu-Li (of Street Fighter fame) find themselves stranded in post-apocalyptic universe, hunted by an army of Power Rangers. They’re rescued and teleported to Ninjor’s temple by Tommy Oliver, who informs them that Rita Repulsa has teamed up with evil World Warrior M. Bison to strengthen her army of Ranger Clones with Psycho Power. The heroic World Warriors resolve to help the remaining free Power Rangers rescue Ninjor from Bison’s fortress….
This short was produced by Bat in the Sun, the production company behind the YouTube series Super Power Beat Down. They’re clearly Power Ranger fans over there, having done two episodes of the series that pit Jason David Frank’s Tommy Oliver against fellow 90s pop culture martial arts icons Ryu from Street Fighter and Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. This marks their first officially licensed work with the franchise, granting them access to pretty well every Power Ranger uniform ever made this time around.
- Ryu gets a Power Coin, specifically the Crimson Hawk, and its implied that Ninjor was working on Power Coins for all the time-tossed World Warriors when he was captured.
- This short inhabits the world of the Power Rangers Legacy Wars game, which runs on an excuse plot about the movie version of Rita Repulsa monkeying with the multiverse to get explain why an army of Rangers and monsters from across the franchise are fighting.
- The fact that both franchises are menaced by villains with ridiculous names (is “M. Bison” really the most intimidating of names for a dictator, especially when the M stands for “Mike” in Japan) is lampshaded.
- The “Green Ranger 2.0” costume that debuted on Super Power Beat Down (and has since appeared in Legacy Wars) is given a vague canonical explanation here, being an upgrade created by Ninjor for the apocalyptic battle at hand.
Look, it’s seven minutes long and is mostly World Warriors fighting Power Rangers or Power Rangers fighting M. Bison. It’s not high art. But if you could have shown this to me and my friends circa 1995 or so, our heads would have literally exploded.
Come Back Next Week for the Aforementioned Strange Times & Places!