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. Your Mileage May Vary on whether or not you find the jokes funny, but it is still an otherwise good season. Particular note goes to Cam, who is in almost as many (if not as many) 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.
- Action Girl: Tori
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us
- Chest Insignia: Circular personal symbols on the chest. There's also the rare case of the megazord sporting a gigantic chest emblem, in the form of the Wind Academy logo.
- City of Adventure: Blue Bay Harbor
- Evil Plan: Lothor's Take Over the World plan, and general bitterness at his good guy family.
- Family-Friendly Firearms: Applied to Hurricaneger's shuriken of all things, made "ninja beams" in Ninja Storm.
- Five-Bad Band
- Five-Man Band: Power Trio Plus Two variant:
- Fleeting Demographic Rule: It's been 8 years since the last ninja-themed Rangers.
- Also, regarding Cam being the Green Samurai Ranger: 8 more years later, we have a whole team of Samurai Rangers. With a Green among their ranks no less! (and no, it's not Cam this time)
- Home Base: Ninja Ops
- Humongous Mecha
- Animal Mecha: see "Motifs" below, plus a number of the Power Sphere weapons (including the Ninja Firebird used to combine all three Megazords), a Big Badass Bird of Prey design for Cam's copter zord, and a Mammoth carrier zord
- Combining Mecha
- Mecha Expansion Pack: The various weaponry from Power Spheres
- Transforming Mecha: the Samurai Star
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Done interestingly because this year there's technically two Red Rangers (one bright red, one crimson). While Shane gets the regular Battlizer upgrade, Hunter also gets cool gear in the form of the Ninja Glider Cycle.
- The Mentor: Sensei
- Mooks: Kelzaks
- Elite Mooks: Kelzak Furies and Wolfblades.
- Motif: Elemental Powers with Animal Motifs
- Never Say "Die": Enforced as usual, except for one bit when fighting ninja ghosts:
Dustin: These guys are fearless!
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Grant Macfarland as Lothor, less so as Sensei Kanoi.
- Recycled in Space!: Power Rangers with NINJAS... AGAIN!
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tori can do this by herself. Unmorphed she's fairly tomboyish, but once she morphs, her mannerisms and gestures are far more girly.
- Blame it on the borrowed footage. Nanami was a 24/7 Girly Girl.
- Weapon of Choice
- Katanas Are Just Better: the Wind Rangers' Ninja Swords and Cam's Samurai Saber
- Family-Friendly Firearms: Shane's Hawk Blaster
- Drop the Hammer: Dustin's Lion Hammer
- Improbable Weapon User: Tori's Sonic Fin (a megaphone) and Blake's Navy Antler (a set of pincers)
- Swiss Army Weapon: the Thunder Rangers' Thunder Staffs
- Hand Cannon: Hunter's Crimson Blaster
- Instrument of Murder: The Lighting Riff Blaster (a guitar); though it was rarely if ever used as a weapon.
- Word Power
This subseries contains examples of:
- Acting for Two: Grant McFarland as Sensei and Lothor
- Jason Chan as Cam and Cyber-Cam.
- 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-
- 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
- Battle Royale With Cheese: the finale. Lothor's ressurected army versus the Rangers and the rescued Wind Academy students.
- 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?
- 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
- Lothor outright does this in one episode after a monster grows:
(looks at the audience) "What did you expect? He wasn't going to get smaller."
- Not to mention when he's in a zord of his own and kicking the Rangers around:
Lothor: "This is the most fun I've had all season!"
- 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.
- Cain and Abel: Sensei and 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?
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: And how.
- 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
- 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.
- Different As Night and Day: Cam and Cyber-Cam, by design: Cam wanted his copy to excel in fields he wished he himself was good at.
- The Dulcinea Effect: Shane with Skyla in "Shane's Karma"
- Dummied 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.
- 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.
- Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Vexacus, the shark-themed bounty hunter turned general.
- Evil Sounds Deep: The Thunder Rangers, pre-Heel Face Turn.
- Fake Nationality: New Zealander Grant McFarland and Malaysian Jason Chan as the Japanese Kanoi and Cameron Watanabe.
- 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, "I hope you're not 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.
- 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 Party: 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 Mini-Dress 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.
- Might intersect with The Power of Rock as well.
- 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.
- Mirror Universe: in "The Wild Wipeout"; somewhat subverted in that It Was All Just a Dream... maybe.
- 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?"
- 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!
- 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
- Redshirt Army: The Ninjas.
- Men of Sherwood: In the Final Battle
- Real Life Relative: Shane's older brother is played by Pua Magasiva's brother, Robbie.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Copybot from "Beauty and the Beach"
- Rival Dojos: the Wind and Thunder Academies
- Serkis Folk: Sensei
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The Boxing Bop-a-roo. Everyone has such trouble understanding him that Lothor starts a "Made-up Word Jar".
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Sensei is stuck as a guinea pig for most of the series.
- Shout-Out: Amazingly, it took the show eleven seasons to make a reference of some kind to Godzilla: The monster Footzilla.
- Hmm, the team has a wise mentor who offers advice and was a famed ninja master before an unexpected accident turned him into a rodent. Now, where have I heard of that before?
- Well the Ninja Turtles DO exist in this universe.
- "Looming Thunder" has a mole monster taunt "Can you guess who the mole is now?", likely referencing the then-current reality show, The Mole. Speaking of reality shows, there's Hunter comparing a Horrible Camping Trip to Survivor in "General Deception".
- In what feels like being a bit of Take That in "I Love Lothor":
- Hmm, the team has a wise mentor who offers advice and was a famed ninja master before an unexpected accident turned him into a rodent. Now, where have I heard of that before?
- 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
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs: In "Beauty and the Beach", Kapri is offended when the Tori doppelganger addresses her as "ma'am".
- 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?!"
- "Well Done, Brother" Guy: Shane
- What Could Have Been: Very early materials suggested that the rivalry between the Wind and Thunder Rangers was supposed to play out a lot longer than it did (and possibly be the central conflict of the series, rather than a traditional villain), with kids even being encouraged to pick sides for themselves.
- Will They or Won't They?: Blake and Tori.
- Word of God: Doug Sloan has said more than once that Tori's Arbitrary Skepticism in the premiere was meant to be taken as just that and never as an indication of a continuity reboot.
- 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.
- Xtreme Sport Xcuse 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.
- You Fight Like a Cow: ALL the Rangers, seriously, it's like Spider-Man times six.
- 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.