'Zyu2' is a fan coined term given to the footage developed exclusively for the american television show Power Rangers that did not derive from stock footage of the Super Sentai series Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger.
The original series of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was given a 40 episode run, however, due to its unforeseen popularity, an alternate ending was given to the last two episodes entitled "Doomsday".
Originally, like its Super Sentai couterpart, the Evil Witch Bandora (Rita Repulsa) was going to resurrect her deceased son Kai, who was reportedly going to be named Bubba, using the power of Great Satan (Lokar). And was going to drive the collossal driving force Dora Talos (Cyclopsis). Instead, the episode was a some-what less dramatic climax, with the mechanised robot being given to Grifforzer (Goldar). And the Rangers, at the end of "Doomsday Part II", were given the option of keeping, or giving up their powers. None of them resigned.
Saban, of course, was pleased at the ratings of the series, and was eager to create more episodes, however, the series had exhausted all of the monsters used in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. So he contacted Toei Corporation (the company who produces the Super Sentai Series and Rainbow Productions, who also produces the monsters suits) to produce more new Zyuranger footage. The companies agreed and 25 episodes worth of new costumes were created and in-suit battle and mecha fighting scenes were filmed in Japan. The footage was created and sent to America where it was spliced with American footage in a similar fashion to the rest of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers before it. It was also requested that themes present in the Power Rangers series were placed in the new footage. There are three main themes given off by four of the Rangers.
Power Rangers technology
Whereas the Zyurangers relied on magic, the Power Rangers used technology. This was incorporated in the Zyu2 footage. For example, whereas the Zyurangers communicated telepathically, the Power Rangers used wrist-worn communicators that they had to put up to their mouths. This was shown during the fight scenes.
Furthermore, the Power Rangers used teleportation to travel to destinations instantly. The Zyu2 footage accommodated for this change by showing the rangers doing a particular pose right before they teleported.
Green and Pink Rangers
As requested the relationship between the Green and Pink Rangers was present in the Zyu2 footage. During many battles the two would show certain signs of affection for one another.
Examples of this include:
- In the battles against Guitardo and Dramole where the Pink Ranger was in danger, the Green Ranger rescued her.
- In the second part of the Guitardo battle, the Pink Ranger rescued the Green Ranger.
- The Pink Ranger also displays affection by clutching his arm and always staying close to him.
- In the battle against Dramole, when the Megazord was down, it was the Pink Ranger, as opposed to the Red Ranger, who asked for the Green Ranger's assistance.
- In "Green No More", when the Green Ranger had been spit out of Turbanshell's belly, the Pink Ranger ran to his side in slow motion, as she was concerned for his safety more than any other Ranger was.
In Power Rangers, the Blue Ranger is the "smart one." In Zyuranger, TriceraRanger is the comic relief, while TigerRanger is the smart one. So Saban requested that new footage shows his intelligence and a whole new personality.
For example, they gave him special gadgets, weapons and machines to win battles, particularly the ones against Saliguana and Pirantishead, both where the inventions malfunction and Blue Ranger fixes them. Futhermore, in "Green No More", the Green Ranger hands the laser gun to the Blue Ranger, showing that the Blue Ranger actually designed the gun.
Also in Power Rangers, the Blue Ranger is the most timid and hesitant in battles, the new footage has him demonstrate that behavior as well, particularly the battle against the Goo Fish.
Though Zyu2 does not have a woman portraying the Yellow Ranger, she is given female characteristics. Such as her friendship with the Pink Ranger, displaying a bond only female companions usually share. In the battle against Commander Crayfish and Mutant Rangers, the Power Rangers tried to defeat them with the Power Blaster. The explosion destroyed the Pink and Yellow Mutant Rangers and the rest were severely injured, suggesting that only males can survive a "power blast". There are also minor examples like when they teleport the Pink and Yellow Rangers put their legs together while the males keep theirs apart.
The Ultrazord is used much more often in Zyu2 than it is in the original Zyuranger. The Zyurangers only used Ultimate Daizyujin to fight Great Satan; in Zyu2, a majority of the monsters are defeated using the Ultrazord.
Gosei Sentai Dairanger Switchover
Whilst episodes of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers continued to air in America using the new Zyu2 footage, negotiations were underway to make a deal with Toei to obtain footage from Gosei Sentai Dairanger. This meant that in-battle footage would be filmed in America and the Zords would change to the Mecha used in Dairanger so the Japanese Mecha footage could be used.
The Gosei Sentai Dairanger footage was obtained in time to be used in episode 61 of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, however, Saban had not yet exhausted all of the Zyu2 footage, so, in episode 61, a new villain (Lord Zedd) was introduced. The remainder of the Zyu2 footage was spliced with newly made american footage of the Zyu2 monsters.
One of the most obvious examples of this is in Episode 2x07 (Entitled "The Power Stealer") when 'Zyu2' footage of the Red and Blue rangers fighting the Octophantom was used, whilst close-up shots of the remainder of the Rangers (who were captured at the time) were filmed in America surrounded by the American-only Z Putty Patrollers, as opposed to Rita's regular putties, one can only presume that this sequence did exist in the Zyu2 footage, but with the original Putties, due to Zedd's introduction however, these foot soldiers were now obsolete from the series.
The usage of Zyu2 proved difficult to use when Saban decided to make the switchover from the old Dino Zords to the new Mecha from Gosei Sentai Dairanger (The Thunderzords) prematurely in episode 63 when Zyu2 footage was still being used, the difficulty came when Japanese footage of the Dairanger mecha was spliced with Japanese footage of the Zyu2 monsters, as they could not be seen fighting the old Zords, most Zord battles from this time would only show the monster attacking using mostly lasers and beams followed by a shot of just the Thunderzords taking the damage. This did not always work, as occasionally the monster could actually be seen making physical contact with the old Megazord. Such as in "The Ninja Encounter" the old Megazord was seen as the Thunder Megazord was blasted then it was seen again when the Thunder Megazord had the sword out.
Along with the Japanese footage, Saban also sanctioned an American band to produce new music for Zyu2, as well as the entire second season, with some of the songs carrying over to season 3. These were either rock songs, or heavy metal, in order to give Power Rangers a more mainstream appeal.
Zyu2 wasn't the first time original footage was filmed for use in Power Rangers by Toei. Before the series began, Saban filmed scenes involving the villains (with both Machiko Soga and Ami Kawai reprising their Zyuranger roles). These scenes were of noticably higher quality than Zyuranger footage, and were used in order to better match lip movements with the voices provided (for instance, Rita's now famous phrase of "Magic Wand, make my monster/Goldar grow").
Goofish (Goo Fish)
Flea Monster (Fighting Flea)
Jellyfish Monster (Jellyfish Warrior)
Dora Mole (Dramole)
Bee Monster (Grumble Bee)
Pumpkin Rapper (Pumpkin Rapper)
Parrot Monster (Two Headed Parrot)
Speed Shark (Slippery Shark)
Rhino Blaster (Rhinoblaster)
Crayfish Monster (Commander Crayfish)
Oyster Monster (Oysterizer)
Flower Buster (Bloom of Doom)
HoeSoilBeetle (Stag Beetle)
Venueleon (Invenusable Flytrap)