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American Sentai

In the beginning, there was Japan. Since the 1970s, Japanese television had been broadcasting their "Super Sentai Series" to the praise of young boys and grown-up-children alike. It featured a rotating cast of heroes who transformed into superheroes to fight evil with a distinctly Japanese method of martial arts and giant robots. The idea and footage was then encorporated by Haim Saban and his namesake production company into a half-hour children's television program featuring American actors spliced together with the original Japanese battle footage. It was changed to suit a Western audience, though many die-hard Super Sentai fans have (and continue to) criticized the series as a "bastardization," or "watered-down" version of the original series. At times Power Rangers has made tongue-in-cheek references to Super Sentai fans, stepping outside its fourth wall to call itself an "adaptation" more than anything. The debate still rages over whether or not Power Rangers manages to be self-inclusive on its own merits, but in the meanwhile, the formula works well enough to continue entertaining fans of all ages. It has been on the air steadily since its debut in 1993 despite changes in ownership and production, and shows no sign of slowing down.

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