Series: Power Rangers Ninja Storm
The 11th season of Power Rangers
, adapted from Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger
. First season produced after production was sold to Village Roadshow by a funny coincidence, former MMPR-Turbo
producers and writers Doug Sloan, Ann Austen and Jackie Marchand worked for Disney at the time, and asked if they could helm this season. Disney agreed, and the result was an Affectionate Parody
that loved its lampshades
Evil, Genre Savvy
ninja Lothor wants to conquer the Earth, and his first step is to eliminate all of the secret ninja academies that would rise up to stop him. Unfortunately for him, three of the students at the Wind Ninja Academy decided to be Good Samaritans that day and were fixing some old couple's car instead of going to class. Shane, Tori and Dustin are widely recognized as the worst students in the school, despite potential and good intentions, but now they're our only hope. Assisted by their Sensei, who has been turned into a guinea pig by Lothor, and his snarky son Cam, they have a long way to go.
Lothor soon decides to fight fire with fire, and convinces a pair of adoptive brothers from a rival academy that Sensei was responsible for the deaths of their parents. Eventually, things are sorted out and they become the Navy and Crimson Thunder Rangers. And even after that, Cam, fed up with his father's refusal to train him as a ninja and the others underestimating him because of it, travels back into the past, obtains a mysterious artifact from his mother, and becomes a more traditional Sixth Ranger
, the Green Samurai Ranger. Things come to a head as Lothor continues to sacrifice minion after minion, general after general, and the Wind Rangers begin to understand that their presence in this fight isn't as much of an accident as they might have thought.
As stated above, Ninja Storm was an Affectionate Parody
, and lampshaded
every trope and gimmick Power Rangers had invented. Regardless on whether or not you found the jokes funny, it still had a few standout elements here and there. Particular note goes to Cam, who, despite being in a less popular series, rose to be in almost as many (if not as many) Power Ranger fan theories as Andros and Tommy.
First series of Power Rangers to: 1) have only one girl, 2) switch the Blue and Yellow Rangers' genders, 3) begin with three Rangers, then add two, then add one more, and 4) be filmed in New Zealand
(Where it was frustratingly banned from being broadcast due to the standards of violence
This season unfortunately broke the chain of the last season team up episode
started in Lost Galaxy
, possibly due to the move to New Zealand as well as budget and union issues. Next season would continue the trend, however.Ninja Storm
is considered a divisive season. For many years a fan favorite due to its comedic atmosphere and cool unmorphed fight scenes, it's been unseated by later, more serious seasons. Look no further than Big Bad
Lothor for a demonstration: half the fandom thinks he's hilarious, Genre Savvy
, and a terrific villain for his final arc gambit, while the other half thinks he's a lame, bumbling idiot who can't stand up next to the likes of Mesogog.
Succeeded by Power Rangers Dino Thunder
Not to be confused with the Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm
Recurring Power Rangers tropes include:
This subseries contains examples of:
- Acting for Two: Grant McFarland as Sensei and Lothor
- Jason Chan as Cam and Cyber-Cam.
- Adapted Out: Shurikenger had a mild baseball theme; his morpher was a ball and his sheathed sword was like a bat. This motif was taken out of Ninja Storm because the makers presumably didn't want kids imitating the show to smack each other with baseball bats.
- Affectionate Parody/Self-Parody
- Affably Evil: Lothor.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: After becoming a Ranger, Cam creates a virtual copy of himself to take over as Mission Control. Cyber-Cam ties Real-Cam up before his programming gets fixed.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Tori's infamous line in the first episode, implying that Power Rangers are merely comic book characters. The line was meant to play the trope straight, but some fans thought it indicated that continuity was being rebooted. References to Ninja Storm next season were meant to correct this misconception.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Marah introduces Beevil:
Beevil: I'm wanted on 12 planets for theft, forgery, conspiracy, destruction of property-
Marah: Don't forget littering!
Lothor: Littering? The most underrated of intergalactic crimes! I'm impressed!
- Artificial Gravity: Lothor's spaceship has this.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Skyla the Karmanian in "Shane's Karma"
- Ascended Fanboy: Dustin, somewhat. He was a big Power Rangers fan and the only one to believe in them before becoming one
- BBC Quarry: One of the bigger offenders in Rangers history. Lampshaded, of course:
Cam: A quarry again? What is it, like a monster-con over there?
Shane: (in another episode) Not another rock quarry!
- Beach Episode: Many episodes had scenes at the beach due to Tori being a surfer, but the "Shane's Karma" two-parter had a sub-plot devoted to the Rangers trying to get some R&R at the beach.
- Better Than a Bare Bulb: one of this installments's strongest points.
- Big Red Button: Cam has one in the center of his keyboard.
- Book Ends: The finale introduces three new characters so the season can end as it began, with three ninjas late for class.
- Extending into next season, the Dino Thunder crossover introduces the Wind Ninjas with them soundly defeating their students, contrasting their original introduction where they were on the receiving end of the asskicking.
- Boxing Kangaroo: the Monster of the Week Boxing Bop-a-roo
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Marah and Kapri are Bratty Teenage Nieces.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: on occasion
- Brick Break: The Rangers try this in "The Samurai's Journey Part 1" - they all fail, and when Cam the non-Ranger does it succeeds they think it's a trick.
- Broken Aesop: When Sensei told Dustin not to use his abilities for trivial matters. Said trivial matter involved protecting a business that was basically being vandalised. In other words, "Don't use your abilities to stop crime."
- Cain and Abel: Kanoi and Kiya Watanabe, otherwise known as the team's Sensei and The Smart Guy Sixth Ranger's father, and Lothor, the Genre Savvy Big Bad. Doubled as a Luke, I Am Your Father for Cam, as he was unaware of the relation. It ends up saving Marah & Kapri in the end, because Cam is a hell of a lot more merciful than Uncle Lothor!
- Cave Behind the Falls: Ninja Ops (though the falls are just a ninja-trick illusion)
- The Chosen Zeroes:
Shane: So, what exactly does [the morpher] do?
Tori: Where's the switch?
Dustin: Does it have any games or what?
- Done almost immediately afterword where Shane and Tori become the only power rangers who can't figure out how to morph on their first try even though Cam already told them what to do. It thus fell to Dustin to teach them...
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: And how.
- Climactic Battle Resurrection: the finale. Lothor's ressurected army versus the Rangers and the rescued Wind Academy students.
- Closest Thing We Got: Tori, Shane, and Dustin. They're at the bottom of their class, but they're also the only ninjas not captured by Lothor.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: The battle final.
- Continuity Nod: About every third or fourth episode has an offhand reference to something that happened earlier in the season.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The more comical the villain seems, the more this applies - Lothor; Marah and Kapri; even Choobo demonstrated some serious skills when he fought the Rangers.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Arguably what made Lothor one of the most effective and memorable Big Bads to date.
- Dark Magical Girl: Marah & Kapri. It's strongly implied that they're not evil so much as desperate to win Uncle Lothor's approval. When Lothor leaves them in his self-destructing base, Cam grudgingly saves them because, hey, they're not the only ones stuck with him as an uncle. They immediately pull a Heel-Face Turn and spend all their energy trying to impress their cousin instead—which definitely paid off in the Reunion Show.
- Dating Catwoman: Dustin and Marah in "All About Beevil".
- Deadpan Snarker: Cam.
- The Dulcinea Effect: Shane with Skyla in "Shane's Karma"
- Embarrassing First Name: Dustin's given name is Waldo.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Quite a bit, especially with the Wind Morphers and things involving the Lion and Samurai Star zords.
- Evil Sounds Deep: The Thunder Rangers, pre-Heel-Face Turn.
- Extreme Sport Excuse Plot Sort of. The Rangers, save Cam, were extreme athletes when not doing ninja stuff; and the sports got highlighted often but were rarely involved in the battles with Lothor.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: A cyborg villain suffer melting at the hands of another, treacherous villain. His half-slagged body is seen in a rare exception to PR's Everything Fades tendency. His executioner quips that he was "having a little meltdown".
- One that wasn't the death itself, but... the monster of the week was a pig. The Rangers beat him, he goes giant, they beat him again, he explodes... and then we see Lothor eating his barbecued remains; the other villains were as disgusted as should be expected.
- Fastball Special: Shane and Dustin in "Thunder Strangers pt. 3"
- Feminine Women Can Cook: The inverse is used in "I Love Lothor"; Cam attends a sports cooking class with Tori and the guys poke fun at him for such a girly activity - until they see all the girls in the class.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: Sensei and Shane, then Sensei and Dustin in "Sensei Switcheroo"
- Flung Clothing
- Genre Savvy: Lothor is throughout the series but notably in "Sensei Switcheroo" when Marah and Kapri ask what to do after the monster of the week is defeated small. "How long have you been working here? You make him big, okay? They blow them up and we make them big, it happens everytime. How could you not get that part?"
- Girl Watching: "Thunder Strangers, Part 1" uses the common subversion that Shane and Dustin only look like they're ogling women (they're really ogling Cam's motorcycle designs).
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: When Cam catches them (before finding out they're looking at bikes), his first reaction is, "You better not be doing anything illegal."
- Groupie Brigade: The Rangers nearly get trampled by a Lothor-obsessed one in "I Love Lothor".
- Hard Light: The Ninja Rangers get a lot of mileage out of holographic constructs, especially with the zords: they're used to disguise the zord summoning points, "split" the megazord for its standard Finishing Move, and even summon a tidal wave for the dolphin zord. Cyber-Cam is another prominent example.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Thunder Rangers early on.
- Heir to the Dojo: Played with, as Sensei's son Cam was specifically denied ninja training. Hence the handwave of him being a samurai while Shurikenger was explicitly "Ninja of Ninja".
- Horrible Camping Trip: In "General Deception". To quote Hunter, "I feel like the cast of Survivor."
- Hour of Power: the Ninja Megazord's Lightning Mode, limited to one minute (at least the first time)
- Hurricane of Puns: The Rangers make them all the time in battle. (Um, "Hurricane" pun not intended.)
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Zurgane does most of the work in finding aliens for Lothor to sic on the Rangers, and is the most tactically-minded of the villains. Given his boss, though, this isn't always appreciated.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Cam spends the first half of the series resentful that he isn't a Ranger.
- Inside Joke: See the Monster of the Week description. That's about the fact that part of Disney picking up the rights to Power Rangers was they demanded a smaller budget - including only one monster at a time in Megazord battles.
- Insufferable Genius: Cam. However, before he becomes a Ranger, he has legitimate complaints as to why he's held back and after he becomes one he's much more of an equal in the group.
- It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Used in the premiere as the Rangers approach the academy.
- Keep Away: Wind Rangers vs. Thunder Rangers over Sensei in a hamster ball, uh, I mean force field; in "Thunder Strangers Part 3".
- Lampshade Hanging
- Late to the Tragedy: Tori, Shane, and Dustin in the premiere, leading to them being the Closest Thing We Got.
- Leotard of Power: Tori's Ranger suit is one of these with the usual Minidress of Power attached, giving the appearance of the occasional Panty Shot.
- Local Hangout: Storm Chargers, the sporting goods store where Dustin, Hunter, and Blake work.
- Lost Aesop: "All About Beevil". So is the lesson to trust people sometimes or not trust anyone?
- Love Potion: Used in "I Love Lothor". While MOTW Mr. Ratwell gets a number of civilians to love Lothor, Marah and Kapri try to get some attention from the Rangers but only make Cam and Blake fall in love with Tori.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Lothor is Sensei's brother and Cam's uncle. Lucky for Lothor's nieces, Marah & Kapri, as Cam uses their relationship to justify saving their lives.
- Magical Security Cam: Given a handwave about surveillance drones.
- Magic Music: the Lightning Riff Blaster, a guitar that can summon a Mammoth zord.
- Meaningful Name: Dustin, whose elemental affinity is Earth.
- Also Skyla the Karmanian, who gave her power to Shane, (whose power is air) which included a flying Battlizer.
- And the techie named Cam.
- Tori, whose element is water, is a surfer of torrential waves.
- Hunter is almost an anagram for thunder.
- The Millstone: The Rangers have the Monster of the Week nearly handled, but Cyber Cam distracts them by doing something random and results in Dustin and Tori getting turned into perfume by said monster
- Mirror Universe: in "The Wild Wipeout"; somewhat subverted in that It Was All Just A Dream... maybe.
- Monster of the Week: Parodied in one episode. Lothor tries to send six giant monsters at once against the heroes, only for his device to fail citing a "memory error". His general informs him that they did not pay for the memory upgrade, so they can only enlarge one monster at a time. Lothor curses at this complaining that as future ruler of the world "I need big monsters!'" and settles for enlarging one and making the rest fight while small.
- Mythology Gag: In "Thunder Strangers, Part 2", Tori's morpher is damaged and a monster tells her, "Guess it's not morphin' time after all, is it?"
- Never Trust a Trailer: The first ads for "Ninja Storm" made it seem like the whole season would be devoted to good vs. evil rangers. That was done before the halfway point of the season.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Lothor
- Opening Narration:
"Deep in the mountains, secret ninja academies train our future protectors. Ancient scrolls told of three who would be chosen above the others, three who would become..." [cue theme music] Go! Power Rangers! Go! Ninja Storm!
- Polar Opposite Twins: Cam and Cyber-Cam, by design: Cam wanted his copy to excel in fields he wished he himself was good at.
- The Power of Rock: The Lightning Riff Blaster, a weapon used to summon the Mighty Mammoth Zord. It's a Guitar/Blaster, and the Mammoth Zord is summoned with one awesome chord.
- Power Limiter: Cam's weighted vest in Samurai Ranger form, which he removes when in Super Samurai Mode.
- Projected Man: Cyber-Cam
- Red Shirt Army: The Ninjas.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Copybot from "Beauty and the Beach"
- Rival Dojos: the Wind and Thunder Academies
- Sealed Evil in a Can:
- The "Abyss of Evil" that acts as one. Unusually, the Big Bad, Lothor, didn't bust out of there at the beginning of the season; instead it factored into his Evil Plan: if his monsters couldn't defeat the Rangers, they'd be sent to the Abyss; cramming it full until it burst open and gave him an army to work with.
- Double subverted, as Lothor is sealed in the Abyss at the end of the series, and then breaks out in the next season, during the team-up episode.
- Serkis Folk: Sensei
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The Boxing Bop-a-roo, and eventually he's Got Other Villains Doing It, too. Lothor gets so fed up at the "made-up words" that he starts a Made-up Word Jar.
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Sensei is stuck as a guinea pig for most of the series.
- Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: A toss-up. It's not entirely clear whether the Rangers had to fit Ninja School around regular high school, or were already there the whole time.
- Shout-Out: Amazingly, it took the show eleven seasons to make a reference of some kind to Godzilla: The monster Footzilla.
- Shout-Out to Shakespeare: The show featured this memorable exchange:
Lothor: "...there's something rotten in the state of Denmark..."
Marah: I thought they were in California?
Lothor: ...it's Shakespeare. Read a book.
Kapri: Technically it's a play...
- Similar Squad: Three new ninja students in the finale who act suspiciously like the Wind Rangers did.
- The Smurfette Principle: Just as Nanami is the only female Hurricanger, Tori is the only female Ninja Ranger (and is still that after adding Blake, Hunter and Cam to the team).
- Super Empowering: Skyla the Karmanian
- Supernatural Martial Arts
- That Man Is Dead: By law, when a ninja is banished, they cease to exist. It is for this reason that Sensei never told anyone about his relation to Lothor; As far as he was concerned, the man he knew as his brother was no more.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs: In "Beauty and the Beach", Kapri is offended when the Tori doppelganger addresses her as "ma'am".
- Threatening Shark: Vexacus, the shark-themed bounty hunter turned general.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: When Tori's unmorphed, she's fairly tomboyish. But once she morphs, her mannerisms and gestures are far more girly. Much of this can be attributed to the Sentai stock footage.
- Two-Timer Date: Tori, splitting between attending Shane's competition and going to a movie with Blake and Hunter in "Pork Chopped".
- Unwinnable Training Simulation
- Villainous Breakdown: Zurgane has one of these after the Rangers defeat him in "General Deception, Part 2".
"Will there never be a day that is marked for victory? Will I always have to suffer at the hands of the Power Rangers? TELL ME, WHEN WILL IT END?!"note
- "Well Done, Brother" Guy: Shane
- Will They or Won't They?: Blake and Tori.
- Xanatos Gambit: the entire season is revealed to be this in the finale, in which Lothor reveals that he was intentionally sending Monsters of the Week (and later his own generals) to their doom, so that their evil spirits would fill the nearby Abyss of Evil to overflowing, resurrecting his own forces along with the other ancient evils imprisoned there.
- You Fight Like a Cow: ALL the Rangers, seriously, it's like Spider-Man times six.
- You're Insane!: Hunter tells this to Motodrone.
Hunter: You're crazy!
- You Would Make a Great Model: G-rated version in "Beauty and the Beach", when Marah and Kapri invite Tori to a fake photo shoot in order to trap her.