Broken Base: Fans are divided if Samurai and Super Samurai should be counted as two separate seasons or as one season spread over two years. For the record Saban Brands and people who know what a television season is officially considers them to be separate seasons
The RPM team-up "Clash of the Red Rangers" started to split fans before it ever aired. Once it was confirmed that none of the RPM actors were planned to return, some people were already saying that if they don't have the RPM actors available, they just shouldn't bother, while others said that we should just wait and see, since they might surprise us. (Turns out they didn't. A Fake Shemp never-demorphing Scott - and for some reason Antonio (Well, we never see Antonio's face, but he is unmorphed)! - went through Shinkenger movie footage that wasn't used to actually tell much of a story, and was confusing due to yet more out-of-order airing.) However, many RPM fans who went in admitted that Scott's replacement did a fine job.
Serrator is first introduced as an Nighlok unknown to many, even Master Xandred himself, but soon gets Xandred’s attention by wiping out his army of Moogers, and then Serrator promises to help Xandred with his goal of flooding the Earth with the Sanzu River. Serrator then gives the Rangers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown every time they meet, and forces people on an island to fight each other. When Xandred's Co-Dragons, Octoroo and Dayu, grew suspicious of Serrator, he tries to kill them and in the process revealed he only feigned loyalty to Xandred to steal Dayu's Harmonium and use it for his own plans. A furious Dayu note earlier Serrator promised to give back her Harmonium once he is done fixing it attacks Serrator only for him to reveal that he was the one who caused all of pain and agony she and her lover, Deker, had to suffer throughout their eternal lives 200 year ago when their house caught on fire. Serrator appeared before Dayu and, seeing how badly the fire affected Deker makes a deal with Dayu to save Deker's life, but at the cost Dayu loosing her humanity and spending an eternity in the Netherworld. Dayu accepted, but when Serrator revived Deker, he took away his memories and turned him into human/Nighlok hybrid forced to walk the earth for all of eternity, while Dayu must be forced to remembered the deal she made that would forever ruined their lives. Serrator shows no remorse, enjoying in the fact that it cause Dayu so much suffering, and may have been the one who started the fire in the first place. Eventually, everyone, heroes and villains alike, learned that all of his attacks were in a pattern that would cause the Earth to crack causing the Netherworld to flood the Earth. His goal was to rule both worlds, not caring about the billions of lives in both worlds lost in the process.
Contested Sequel: Coming after RPM, this was inevitable. Samurai is often touted as a bad season by fans, and many older fans call it outright one of the worst seasons in the franchise (Tied with or rivaling Turbo, Wild Force,Operation Overdrive, and Megaforce)- it's more often than not almost a direct adaptation of Shinkenger (Japanese values not translating well into American culture is a big complaint of this), and the acting of the Rangers at the start is oftenhorrible, with the general exception of the Green and Gold Rangers. For Power Rangers RPM fans, this season is bad because of a teamup named Clash of the Red Rangers, where only the Red RPM Ranger was brought back (and doesn't even de-morph during the production).
Deker, played by Rick Medina, also known as Cole from Wild Force is pretty much why people kept watching after he debuted. I wonder, why?
For a monster that got one episode, Fiera was pretty well-received for her cool design, powers, and voice actor.
Lauren, primarily due to being one of the very few Female Red Rangers. So much so that she made onto the Morphing Madness contest.
Evil Is Cool: Serrator. Perhaps the most Bad Ass character in the show. He shows his power to Master Xandred by destroying an entire army of moogers. Later, he gets a Crowning Moment of Awesome during his fight with rangers: he defeats them easily, turns their own attacks against them, and to top it all off, he says that he wasn't even trying.
Master Xandred took the title of the most Bad Ass character in the show from Serrator and makes him look like a mooger. Just watch "The Master Returns" and see what I mean.
First Installment Wins: Many people believe that Samurai is playing on people's nostalgia for the original Mighty Morphin by returning to the original "Go Go Power Rangers!" theme song, the morphing call, and bringing back Bulk.
Harsher in Hindsight: The sword wielding villain, Deker, becomes this after the recent allegations of his actor, Ricardo Medina Jr, having an altercation with his roommate ending with said roommate being killed with a sword.
He Really Can Act: Ricardo Medina. Okay, he's not Oscar-caliber or anything, but he's come quite a ways from Wild Force.
Hector David, Jr. (Mike) and Steven Skyler (Antonio) are touted even by fans who hate the series as the only good actors on the show.
Kimberley Crossman does a terrific job as Lauren, specifically playing up the character's sense of abandonment and isolation.
Hero Worship: When Lauren steps in to replace an injured Jayden, the other rangers seemingly cannot go a few minutes without citing how awesome or amazing they think he is. This becomes especially grating when they compare him against Lauren with her still in the room. (See The Woobie below)
Hilarious in Hindsight: "Party Monsters" was the first real attempt to shake up the Shinkenger formula, by having the Nighloks able to wind up in a "third life", which was little more than a harmless ghost. Actually this had been done in the sentai that came before, Engine Sentai Go-onger, where the recurring villain Hiramechimedes came (arguably) Back from the Dead one last time, as a yuurei or ghost.
There was talk about that the Shinkenger's Super Mode would entail, and a few subscribed to the theory that the kanji on their helmets would double up. Cue the Shogun Samurai Rangers forms, which have the kanji doubled up.
Since Disney took over, fans were clamoring for Saban to reacquire the franchise. Disney finally killed the franchise after Power Rangers RPM, one of the most beloved seasons, only for Saban to pick up the franchise again and produced this season, one of the most despised seasons.
They've replaced Genta's oversized suit and gong from his big arrival at the Shiba house with a suit and shiny tie for Antonio, making it look like he's taking Jayden to the prom.
It doesn't help that both Antonio and Jayden are reunited childhood friends, if that's indication.
The end of "Broken Dreams" adds a whole new level of Ho Yay when Jayden and Antonio are limping to the bench, panting and catching their breath while saying things like "Every muscle hurts" and "Just like old times."
Others are criticizing it for referencing things that never happened in Samurai but did in Shinkenger, making it closer to They Changed It, Now It Sucks because it's not the same. For instance, unlike Shinken Green, Mike acts rebellious for all of one episode (that we've seen), but Master Ji continues acting as though Mike is still rebellious, simply because of how Shinken Green behaved in the original script.
That sounds more like "Its the same even though now it makes no sense so it sucks" to me. Them "changing" something isn't the problem.
Subverted by Antonio, the Gold Ranger. While he is a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass and Large Ham like Shinken Gold, he's a different kind of ham than Genta. And he's been received somewhat more positively as well.
It's gradually been pushing away from Shinkenger as it's progressed. Among other things, Deker's backstory has been changed drastically.
Jerkass Woobie: Deker, given that he's trapped in a cursed existence and ultimately wants to die.
"Wow! He's so sparkly!" (Emily's line when Antonio first morphs. Also a very common top comment on YouTube of videos about Antonio.
Samurai's negative reputation as a whole- listen to some fans and they compare to the end of the universe.
Mis-blamed: Many Power Rangers RPM fans blame the Samurai crossover movie Clash of the Red Rangers for putting RPM in an alternative dimension. The thing is Eddie Guzelian (the original Executive Producer behind Power Rangers RPM, before getting replaced by Judd Lynn) has said RPM took place in an alternate continuity from the rest of the series when RPM was in production.
Some fans still blame Saban Brands for splitting Samurai into 2 20-episodes seasons even though that was Nick's decision. Saban also gets blamed for the third episode to air first even though that was also Nick's choice so they could air the first two episodes as an hour long special later on.
Moral Event Horizon: In the episode "Trading Places" the Monster of the Week Switchbeast goes around city and turns innocent people into various objects. The point of this plan is that unsuspecting humans will get rid of those objects, unaware that there are human souls in them. This would have resulted in a lot of people being killed (including Rangers, Bulk and Spike) if Mike and Emily didn't defeat Switchbeast. That was the entire point of Switchbeast's plan: to have as many innocent people turned into objects and would have been disposed and destroyed by unsuspecting humans. Usually Nighloks want to make misery, but this time they wanted to kill innocent people.
In the eyes of Dayu, Big Bad Master Xandred crosses this when he sets her harmonium (which was a gift by Deker, when they were married and it was LAST remnant of her love for Deker, who was cursed and lost his memory of her) on fire and attempted to have her memory erased. She even says "I knew you were evil, but this!"
He really crosses it by killing and absorbing her after she revived him.
Serrator crossed it 200 years ago by making a Deal with the Devil with Dayu, turning Deker into a half Nighlok and taking his memories, not telling her that until she's already made the deal. If he didn't cross it then, he most certainly did with his endgame. He wanted to split open the earth, spilling the Netherworld onto Earth, likely causing untold death and destruction all for the sake of becoming powerful enough to rule both worlds.
Narm: The Monster of the Week's big plan is... making a little boy give up baseball... Made even more narmy by Mia's line of "This is what you get for making Ryan sad!" (Then again, he lied that by giving up on baseball, the boy's father would return home from the army.)note This made a lot more sense in Shinkenger where not only was the deal to bring back the boy's dead grandfather, but instead of just throwing out his equipment, the deal was to jump off a building and break his leg.
In episode 5, "A Fish Out of Water" (really episode 7, but Nickelodeon has skipped the first two), the new zord is a swordfish. When it combines with the Megazord in the obligatory boss battle, the final attack has the mech's usual katana attaching to the swordfish helmet which sticks straight up! Someone should dub it "Narwhal Mode" or take a clip of its head-sword-swinging Finishing Move and synch it to Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair."
"Forest for the Trees" features innocent bystanders wangsting and actively lamenting with a passion usually reserved for the death of loved ones... the fact that its starting raining. It was caused by a Nighlok, but still... (Of course, it was supernatural rain made to cause wangst.)
In one episode, a Monster of the Week tries to bring down Yellow Ranger's confidence, which such lines as "Everyone loves to tease you!" In his defense, he'd already tried half a dozen other insults on her with no effect.
Octoroo's big plan in "The Blue and the Gold"? Stealing toys, which from the looks of it, can pretty much all be easily replaced. Not that that's much comfort to kids who lost their favorite...note In the corresponding Shinkenger episode it was a human sacrifice instead.
Paranoia Fuel: Any crack or crevice can be a potential portal for a Nighlok... Sweet dreams.
In "The Blue and the Gold," the monster was in Bulk and Spike's house while they were asleep, completely unnoticed. Although the "unnoticed" part was partly due to the fact that it was Bulk and Spike it's not hard to imagine that this was how he stole the children's toys (aside from the ones we saw in the park). Let me repeat that: the monster snuck into houses with children in them without anyone noticing.
Special Effects Failure: The digital animation sticks out like a sore thumb. On the other hand, one could find it preferable to Shinkenger's.
In "The Blue and Gold," Octoroo's mouthpiece was changed for a few scenes, ostensibly to make it less creepy. The change was discarded almost immediately.
The mecha suits from Shinkenger are looking even more fake than the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers/Zyuranger. Seriously, the Megazord looks like it's wearing Styrofoam cutouts while in past series they at least looked metallic.
There's also the Gold Ranger helmet, which switches between practically mirror-coated and more like frosted glass. It even did so in Shinkenger footage, so it can't be blamed on Japan/US prop differences (They probably use the frosted glass one to avoid accidentally reflecting the camera crew in his helmet.)
In "Jayden's Challenge," and likely a few other places, when Kevin jumps into battle, it cuts to a second of Kevin's (obvious) stunt actor.◊ The stunt actor does a pretty good job of hiding his face; unfortunately, he does this with his hands. The problem being Kevin is black and the stunt actor is (likely) Japanese. Previous teams actually used makeup tricks◊ to match the stunties to the actors,◊ with results that can be downright creepy,◊ but that might lean a little too close to blackface for the current team (or they were short for time, who knows?)
Tear Jerker: Dayu and Deker's new backstories. They were husband and wife, but a fire mortally wounded Deker, destroying their house. Afterwards, Dayu made a Deal with the Devil, selling her soul to save Deker's life. To twist the knife, the Nighlock making the deal reveals that Deker will be cursed to wander the earth as a half Nighlock/Half Human forever and will forget Dayu completely. Even Mia feels sorry for them after this. Both are much more sympathetic than their Shinkenger selves.
You know what's worse? The shamisen that Dayu carries was Deker's wedding gift to her... a simple guitar. Dayu's wedding gift to Deker is his Uramasa sword. Now remember when the shamisen was set on fire? It was as if Dayu was losing the LAST remnant of her love for Deker.
The deaths of Dayu and Deker. Particularly due to the fact they're both extremely sympathetic.
You've got to feel sorry for Lauren. She spent her entire life since she was a child mastering the sealing symbol to seal away Master Xandred forever, only for Xandred to gain an immunity to it, rendering her life's work, not to mention the plan her father started, for naught. Never before has a Negated Moment of Awesome been so serious.
The Scrappy: Jii is considered the worst mentor because of his self-righteous attitude, particularly when he rejected Antonio because he wasn't born into Samurai lineage.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Samurai started suffering from this early. When the casting sheets went out, the characters had the names Reese, Parry, Baron, Sadie, and Ava. Fans got a little upset when the names were changed to the slightly more generic Jayden, Mike, Kevin, Mia, and Emily. (Much later, it was revealed that the mentor's name wasn't Takeru, but Ji; and later still the Sixth Ranger's name was shown to have gone from Wesley to Antonio.)
"Reese", "Parry", and "Baron" could still work as the respective characters' last names.
Interestingly, there had already been a Ranger called Mike in a past season. Generally, the writers and producers avoid the repetition of names when casting actors/actresses for newer Rangers; in all likelihood, this was probably unintentional given that production for this season was very rushed so they probably had no time to think about this minor detail.
The toy designs are also receiving criticism - most understandably in the case of the Megazord, which lost a number of its details in the transition from Shinken-oh, but also for the new Ranger figures, which were given samurai-armor-esque revamps including Shoulders of Doom. This has been given some in-show justification, however (they use the armored form while piloting the zords), and they also made normal Ranger figures.
Though that isn't really the series' fault, as rumor has it the figures were made prior to Saban buying back the rights to Power Rangers, when it was expected that Power Rangers RPM was to be the final season.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Clash of the Red Rangers. Where do we even begin? Well, for one thing, at one point in the story the Samurai Rangers (barring Jayden) are sucked into the RPM-verse by Professor Cog's portal. Now, the idea of a team of Samurai crashing into an After the End setting where humanity is fighting for survival against a virus and its army of machines would make for a pretty good plot. And it would also have been great to see how the Samurai Rangers would work with the RPM Rangers. So, what do we get out of this possibly awesome plot thread? The Samurai Rangers return after being gone for a while, and Emily tells Scott "Your team says hi." That's all we get.
Scott's comment that he wasn't sure the air was breathable is a carry over from Go-Onger more than RPM. The issue of not de-morphing could have been easily addressed by saying that he might not have enough power to morph again or perhaps have a point about a dwindling power supply for the suit. Either point would have given the loaned power disc in the third act greater significance.
Tough Act to Follow: Coming after ShinkengerandRPMand running at the same time as Gokaiger, you bet it is.
Unfortunate Implications: This early casting call for the show. With the exception of the Red Ranger, every other character is listed under "Any Ethnicity," reflecting the franchise's history of colorblind casting. What's the Red Ranger's requirement? Caucasian. This was fixed in more recent casting calls. To be fair, there may be a reason for specifying race, such as making sure Jayden and family members that show up don't look blatantly unrelated to each other. It also asks for an actress to play 'Princess Megan,' which appears to be Kaoru's counterpart.
Uncanny Valley: Octoroo's American mouth actually made him more creepy.
Not exactly "American"; we get to see Shitari's mouth in Act 46 of Shinkenger and it does look kind of like that. All they did in the adaptation was remove the front tentacles that hid it, but yeah, the results weren't any more pleasant.
Values Dissonance: Inevitable when they're trying to be entirely accurate to Shinkenger.
One example: In "Sticks and Stones," Emily tells the team how she was bullied as a child, and was taught by her sister to ignore what the bullies said. This is a common part of Japanese culture, and, at first glance, seems fit in an American show. Then you realize that it seems to be implied that Emily apparently never told anyone about the bullies. The flashback seems to suggest that only her sister (a Power Ranger in training, mind) helped her out, whereas she could have told her parents, a teacher or some other Reasonable Authority Figure.
Sadly, though, this is more or less in tune with children's shows, where Adults Are Useless. And fairly common amongst bullied children in any corner of the world. Many of them will internalize and not tell anybody for several reasons. Parents, who might not understand how severe the bullying is (or assume that it's a rite of passage in childhood), will likely tell children to simply get over it. Similarly, telling a parent or teacher, who usually can do very little to stop it in the first place, can make bullying worse.
Vindicated by History: Inverted. Samurai has been the reason many, many fans have looked back on previously disliked seasons (Turbo, Wild Force and Operation Overdrive are frequently cited, although the Disney Era as a whole has received this outside of Dino Thunder and RPM) and given them a more positive reception, they hate Samuraithat much.
Played straight now two years later when people flicked to this season after Super/Megaforce, many people citing this season actually had a story, though a carbon copy of Shinkenger that it admittedly diverged from, good budgeting that led to great sets and production, as well as acting that got noticeably better over time.
What an Idiot: Octoroo in "Fight Fire With Fire." In order to finish off Jayden, he sends a fire-type Nighlok with a weapon that ignites the fire within a person (the explanation being that, since Jayden's family element is Fire, he will burn up from the inside). Apparently, it didn't occur to him that it was possible for said weapon to be turned against his monster, causing it to burn up instead.
The Nighlok Vulpes in "Unexpected Arrival." The plan was to spy on Jayden so he and Octoroo could glean knowledge of the Sealing Symbol from him when he went to train. To accomplish this, Vulpes thinks that purposely making Jayden paranoid to the point that he's aware that he's being watched will get the job done. This means that to keep himself concealed, Vulpes voluntarily went out of his way to be noticed. Websters hasn't changed the definition of 'stealth' yet, has it?
Lauren dedicated her entire life to mastering a sealing technique, only for it to fail. This would be bad enough, however Jayden's injuries forced her to take up the leader mantle. Despite her continuous effects to befriend the Rangers, they do nothing but talk about how awesome Jayden is and indirectly compare her to him to her face. After her aforementioned technique fails, nobody says so much as two words to her directly.
Ryan from "Deal With A Nighlok" can be considered one, too.