Power Rangers Ninja Steel Volume 2: Survive contains episodes 5-8 of the most recent Power Rangers series. As the name suggests, this time the theme of the show is “ninja”, with all of the characters’ gear revolving around throwing stars.
Power Rangers has often had a goofy slapstick nature to it, but this time it has really been ramped up to the point of surrealism, with most of it happening to the comic relief bullies. Despite containing only four episodes, this collection sees them getting flung into the air with remarkable frequency. The heart of the show is still there though, with characters learning a lesson which help them grow as people, and more signs of the strong friendships within the group being forged. The most noteworthy part of this collection is the introduction of this series’ sixth ranger. The “mystery” surrounding their identity is as predictable as you’d expect, but they have good chemistry with the rest of the group, and they quickly fit into the team.
This time the villainous lair is a gladiatorial arena in the style of an extreme sports-based TV show. The concept is interesting, and it does distinguish it from the vast array of evil empires of past Power Rangers iterations, but the episodes don’t manage to do enough with the concept for it to stand out as much as it could have. Similarly, the villain does seem threatening, but he isn’t given a whole lot to do beyond yelling angrily at his subordinates.
Power Rangers Ninja Steel Volume 2: Survive is tricky to review because there are only four episodes on the disc. Normally a release with this little content and no special features wouldn’t be worth looking into. However, this is a series which will be releasing its content in small offerings frequently rather than full or half season box sets. While there isn’t much to this box set, it is very cheap, and the next release will arrive mere months after this one.
For what it is, Power Rangers Ninja Steel Volume 2: Survive is an acceptable release. It contains the sort of content which can be expected of the franchise delivered in a bite sized helping, and should tide fans over until Volume 3 comes out. The humour is wacky and delightfully over the top, and the action is standard Power Rangers fare. One drawback to these episodes is their production quality. All of the special weapons and morphers the Rangers use are all cheap looking, as if they were made quickly and inexpensively out of plastic... There’s not too much to recommend here for anyone not already invested in the show, but there also isn’t much to lose in checking it out.
POWER RANGERS NINJA STEEL VOLUME 2: SURVIVE / DIRECTORS: VARIOUS/ SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: WILLIAM SHEWFELT, NICO GREETHAM, ZOE ROBINS, PETER ADRIAN SUDARSO, CHRYSTI ANE / CERT: PG / RELEASE DATE: 1st OCTOBER 2018