It’s that time of the week again folks! But this time you’re getting a history lesson with your Zyuranger (don’t you groan, you little bastards! History is important!). So, way back in the day Captain Kidd, the infamous pirate captain, found a mirror that could kill anyone who looked into it. He was terrified of this mirror and hid it in Japan (According to actual legends he supposedly did visit one of Japan’s islands, Takajima, and hid a treasure there). Now why is this important? Because it’s the plot of this week’s episode!
In Zyuranger the island is called Namegawa Island instead, and in typical sentai fashion this island is actually a theme park! It’s like in both Car and Megaranger where the teams visit Rindo Lake Family Park (Remember? That’s where Miku said she touched Chisato’s breasts. Uh… anyways…)
In Zyu however, it feels even more like a blatant commercial. Ah well that’s life and it was a beautiful place so who can blame them? There’s some really good shots of the animals and we get some good on location fighting. Nice change of pace if you ask me.
But why am I so interested in this park? Well, it no longer exists. It was closed down in 2001 and most everything in the park got removed. Interestingly enough though, in 2004, it was used to film part of the Kamen Rider Blade movie.
I really like learning about Toku filming locations so I figured I’d use this episode to rant about it. If you’re interested here’s some links to a pair of bloggers who checked Namegawa out and took pics. See how many places you recognize after watching this week’s episodes!
If you’re still not satisfied look up “Nara Dreamland”. It was used in a lot of Showa shows (Skyrider, off the top of my mind, and I think Amazon that I know for sure) and it’s now also, sadly, abandoned.
*Psst* Toei, film something in these locations! They’d make great “battle damaged” sets. That one factory you keep using is getting a bit tiring.
And if you want to see some videos of Namegawa Island in it’s prime then here’s a whole playlist of home movies! (thanks to JEFFB for sending me the link to these)
Also from JEFFB: This is the final appearance of Toku Nishio in this series (he previously played DoraCirce and DoraBoogaranan). He acted in Sentai all the way from Goranger-Ohranger and has the honor of voicing the first ever Super Sentai monster, Golden Mask from Goranger.
EDIT: DoraGunrock’s name has a bit of interesting history behind it. Gunrock is actually the name of The Thing from the Japanese dub of the 60’s Fantastic Four cartoon. in this dub the Fantastic Four are actually “space ninjas”.
Also, the other characters were named Suzie, Fire Boy, and Gomuzu, Doctor Doom was named Akuma Hakase, and the title of the show was Space Ninja Gomozu instead of the Fantastic Four.
Here’s the CN page for it
And here’s the Opening!