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 Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron

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PostSubject: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:08 pm

Hi all,

As I've written before, I've had a few ideas in my head for a more 'realistic' take on the original source for the Power Rangers franchise material - Super Sentai, now in its 35+ year, plus two 'unofficial' series.

I propose no transformable type mecha/zords (for now), and the idea is based on either the tried and true 'alien tech', or 'alien tech plus good ol' USA science', but I was wondering could a 'realistic' team like this work?

If anyone is interested, please contact me, and we can possibly get something off the ground.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:54 am

Were you going to look at Spiderman (Toei) and Battle Fever J for inspiration?
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:08 pm

I've not seen any BFJ, I believe it's one of the very first sentai, is it not? I have seen a few of the Japanese Spiderman though, much different than what I was expecting when I found it. One thing I was thinking of was that in most teams they all are friends from the beginning, and I was thinking about having them really not wanting to be around each other, only in times of emergency, even then they would want to do whatever they needed to, then just go their own way. Eventually they would want to be around each other, just not all 'best friends' as they seem to be in the PR franchise or even in most sentai I've seen.

And young adult to early thirties I was thinking as well. Lives outside of being a hero.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:28 am

I haven't seen Battle Fever J but from what I've read about it, it was based on Captain America, and evolved into the five-man-band concept.

One of the early Sentai series Mecha was in the process of being constructed, and being sabotaged by the bad guy army, which I think is a nice touch compared to be handed Zords with powers like in Power Rangers. The Mecha can become more of a setting than an actual character or tool in the arsenal.

Another thing to look at for a Sentai team is International Rescue from Thunderbirds.

For a non-occupational Sentai team, you can go a route along Global Frequency of volunteers that get 'tapped-out' for certain missions on the side. You'd end up with a larger rotating cast, that has to get used to members going back to a civilian life, dying off, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:50 pm

I kind of like the rotating team idea.

One thing that I always wondered about was, the members of these teams that didn't have much fighting skills always seemed to fare better when transformation occured. They knew how to operate their tech from the beginning as well, to me that seems like the tech somehow gives the information needed to do those things, use the tech, etc.

Even Hal Jordan had to learn how to use and control his GL ring.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:23 am

Just wanted to check and see if anyone was still here, if interested in brainstorming and possibly trying to get something off the ground, LMK.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:31 am

Hello?

<listening to echoes...
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:01 am

Is anyone around anymore? It seems original and PD heroes would have more of a following since it's there's more to choose from other then the big publishers.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:46 am

Believe it or not, I have been pondering the creation of "realistic" super sentai type characters. One of my Void Knight characters, Sir Fierabras, is a giant that can only survive outside of terrestrial gravity (a lot like the adult Bean in the Ender's Game series), and also has mass accumulation ability and armor somewhat like, say, Ultraman or Jet Jaguar, but perhaps only to the limit of Giant Man. I have enormous kaiju scale monsters in my setting, but they are either entirely oceanic or creatures that look like multi-legged mobile bunkers, very stiff and bulky like the original Godzilla. I don't see any way of realistically handling a multi-hundred foot tall humanoid form in terrestrial gravity.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:04 pm

My take on those giants was take to the desert, over the ocean, if the team and equipment has orbital capabilities, take it to space or the lunar surface. Tokyo gets trashed in every 'Zilla movie, every PR and Sentai, and/or Ultraman. When do they rebuild, and who pays for it all?! Taxes must be a b***** in Japan.

If you care to, I'd be interested in reading some of your work. I'm at the research stage, where I want to find 'real world' examples to get these human characters to do these superhuman feats without 'magic', or handwaving. I can't draw, so I have pics of dozens of characters wear I like something on one, something else on another.

As I've told GoldenBard, I'm stressing for originality. Wouldn't want someone to think PR, or Iron Man, etc. right off.

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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:39 am

I don't have any stories or concept art done of either the giant-sized robots or the other various mecha concepts right now, so the best I could do is share off the cuff ideas and brief write-ups. Some of it would cross over into the other thread about Damascus and the armored hero archetype. Right now I have several concepts and characters that could potentially be relevant to your effort. Briefly, they are:
1. Sir Fierabras, the growing giant robot armored Void Knight that I already mentioned
2. Dreadnought, the character most akin to Iron Man in my setting, who subverts the Iron Man tropes in a few significant ways. First, the public assumes that his secret identity is the industrialist that runs Dreadnought Defense, but in reality he actually is an employee - and in fact, a badly crippled and cyborganized war veteran who is more or less only functional inside the armor. Second, the Dreadnought armor is more like a vehicles than a battlesuit, think Gundam over Starship Troopers. I imagine it's about 5 meters tall and tripedal or more.
3. Master Blaster, another associate of Dreadnought Defense, who operates a customized tank with a dynamic (semi-transformable) frame and modular weapons systems
4. The Warheads, a group of battlesuit wearing mercenaries with psychic powers and modularized equipment packs (if you remember the '80s toy and cartoon series, the Centurions, you have an idea of what I have in mind)
5. The Terrapin and Broadside - battle suited oceanic adventurers
6. Arsenal - A Gilak (human natives of Pellucidar) bonded with the Steel Lotus, a sentient metal organism possibly the same type as the one in Abraham Merritt's "The Metal Monster". Somewhat reminiscent of XO Manowar, but less of a battlesuit and more of a shapeshifting vehicle.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:31 pm

Right now I just have fairly rough ideas for a suit that enhance or amplify the wearer's existing abilities (not unlike the civilian powers in PR, except with my idea, the suits contain the abilities from becoming too powerful, and the transformed versions of the suits leech stamina/endurance/power from the wearer, weakening them. The more time spent in them, hurts them until they can eventually overcome the pain or deal with the effects. A team on painkillers?
Time limit imposed on the suits being worn until they can be tweaked..

I saw a pic of a Steampunk Iron Man, and what looked like a WW2 era IM. And I was thinking along those lines on the look of the suit. Something state of the art, in 1942-3 but hopelessly antiquated by 2014. I have been trying to try to think of the armored suit being their motorcycles, Robotech/Macross did it, but maybe there's a way to make it work w/out looking too similar. I'm thinking lightly armored, not the heavy Stormtrooper sort of look, certainly not the IM route.

I've not sure if I want to use mechs because I can't see a logical way to have that sort of tech in 1942 without alien crash debris being reverse engineered or something. Right now, I'm trying to work on character bios, timeline, etc.

Maybe bring tech back into the past, and cannibalize it, to augment the tech in the suits, or repair them to a point.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:24 pm

I recommend checking out Dream Pod 9's "Gear Krieg" RPG for inspiration as well as the Acid Rain toy line. I'd post links, but the board won't allow me to.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:25 am

I was thinking about adding some diversity to my universe, in the form of a Japanese superhero team (along with some giant monsters).

I was doing a bit of Wikipedia research, looking at characters like Ogon Bat and Seven Colour Mask, as well as Kamen Rider and the Super Sentai teams, and I also found these interesting articles:
http://roboheart.com/2012/02/12/japanese-vs-american-hero-archetypes/
http://henshingrid.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/representation-of-colors.html
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Franchise/SuperSentai?from=Main.SuperSentai


I don't really know much about the Japanese culture or their superheroes, so I was wondering if anyone else had any insight on it. I was interested in some of the comparisons regarding teamwork, growth/ training, etc, as well as the significance of colours.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:47 am

I know next to NOTHING about Japanese culture, but I found these articles fascinating! A while back (in my college days) I got interested in the stock characters of kabuki and no theater; I wonder if that could be worked into a sentai set-up somehow...
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:50 am

I think it would be fun to take some of the ideas, such as what the colours represent, and the social differences, to come up with an interesting Super Sentai type of team, and some versions of characters like Moonlight Mask would be fun.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:59 am

Those are great articles. Diversity is sure nice to see in superhero comics, especially if you're trying to avoid supers based on general preconceived notions of people.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:00 pm

I was trying to make my fictional universe more diverse, and thought it would be good to try to understand what another culture's ideas of superheroism were, rather than just look at the surface things.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:05 pm

The idea of people coming together for a cause, yet not 'clicking' the instant they sit down, and still not agreeing with each other, except when they needed to come together sounded good to me, and Cpt Whizz's idea was a good one, how people from other countries see the US, and we see them, learning from them, yet bumping heads sometimes.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:09 am

What I've been thinking of is a team of 5 that is brought together by a government agency, headhunted for their skills, abilities, knowledge, expertise, etc. Colour-coded uniforms. Personal development, and relationships between the team members, are important. The team does not start at the peak of their powers, but grows into them.

I'm not currently sure whether the powers/ abilities will be magical or science-based.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:40 am

I had a little of the same idea, team of 3-5, a super secret group (maybe an individual) with deep pockets acts looks for these recruits after his 'research' team finds each of them. My take on it was they were soldiers, ex-soldiers that got thrown together but aren't very friendly toward each other, and it stays antagonistic for a bit. I didn't want to make it too similar to MMPR, but try to give a futuristic military feel to it.

(Maybe the individual that sets them up is a human from Earth's future?) Maybe a rogue from the CIA or someplace like that, who is looking to fund a group that would be willing to get their hands dirty to fight for the right cause. (Tug on their patriotism strings a little.)

My idea was to give the guys I was thinking of 'advanced science'-so the people think it's magic, the team doesn't say anything because the idea of the 'threat of the week' is enough, and telling the public, that yes, there is life 'out there', might put the public on edge like Luthor does, trying to cry 'Superman's a threat, an alien!' every time a camera is pointed at him.

Through all my ideas on this, I really did like the idea of them not getting along. (Anyone remember Wolverine in the early days of the X-Men comics?) Cyclops and Wolverine were always at each other about something, until the big fight and even after, sometimes.

Although I do like the tech, and world-building aspects of doing something from scratch, I'd rather read about characters and their journey first of all.

(If I could have been given the gene for drawing, I would have been sketching ideas already.)
I had all kinds of notes and pics of things I liked about this or that character's uniform/costume, current/future military research (even an idea about a new armor for soldiers and then not three months later, Superior Iron Man debuts it)!

Any of this too similar to your ideas Cpt.?

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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:55 am

My ideas were coming from the desire to flesh out my burgeoning universe (timeline listed at http://universe.forumakers.com/t370p34-the-wip-whizz-verse ) with some diversity. I have lots of American characters, and a few British, with hardly any others. So I wanted to introduce some ethnic/ cultural diversity.

Originally, I was going to do an all-Japanese group, but from what you've said, and reading about Battle Fever J's concept ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Fever_J ), I think some sort of UN group would be great. The different members clash because of their different personalities, and also their different nationalities. Some of the most technologically and economically-powerful nations (possibly including many of those with nuclear capability) decide to pool their resources, getting their greatest scientific minds together to come up with advanced powered armour and vehicles. In my universe, they may well be in response to my Justice League/ Avengers equivalent- the nations want superheroes that they control, heroes that are chosen by them, with powers that can be taken away- basically, I guess a team of Iron Man suits to be worn by whoever is deemed worthy. They can defend the Earth from threats, and are also an insurance policy against good superheroes going rogue (spoilers- this WILL happen in my universe).

In my timeline, I envisage this happening somewhere around the 80s, as in my universe, technology develops faster than the real world from about the mid-70s.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:32 pm

I had sort of a legacy idea, starting "5 min into the future", with a current crop of recruits that find out Earth is a small piece of a much larger picture, aliens are real, and teams have been recruited to train and serve as a 'last resort' weapon of sorts, and that this unknown battle has been going on since just prior to WWII, possibly decades, last century

(The legacy could refer to a specific character passing the identity to a new generation, or the team itself existing for so long, rumors are heard that the members are immortal, superhuman, etc.)

(The teams prior to WWII would have been working with late 30s/early 40s tech, no alien crafts to reverse engineer.)

Allied and Axis governments compete to successfully genetically engineer soldiers that would be considered to be 'super'. Just as Von Braun and his team of rocket scientists came over to the US in the late 40s and helped get NASA started and a manned mission to the moon, the US gov't talked several scientists from the other side to defect to the US and work on augmenting human subjects.

As more alien tech is recovered, the more advanced the world's military tech becomes, as that tech filters down to civilian scientists who are working on the same ideas, to unlock human potential.

Just my two cents of an idea.

Or I could go with the current team stuck in the past, no access to tech that could help them, or the past team gets bumped into the future.

(I had the idea of seeing 40s - now, character ideas, weapons, robots/androids influenced by the time. Similar to how children in the 40s-60s believed Flash Gordon, the Rocketman/Commando Cody, Buck Rogers and other scifi tech were believable.)

I like the idea of the characters scrambling to collect, fix and use the tech available to them when their own tech doesn't work.
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:15 am

Anyone around?
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PostSubject: Re: Americanized Sentai w/realism...I know...oxymoron   Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:44 am

SuperHeroFan wrote:
Anyone around?

I still check in from time to time. Haven't had a chance much lately, but I still look in.
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