12 February 2002 | BrianDanaCamp
CARRANGER VS. OHRANGER - Power Ranger teams turn on each other
CARRANGER VS. OHRANGER (1997) is one of a regular series of sentai team-ups in which the cast of Toei's new annual sentai series joins with the cast of the previous series in a one-hour TV special. (`Sentai' is roughly translated as "super-powered battle team" and refers to the annual `Rangers' live-action superhero series on Japanese television featuring five young heroes in color-coded costumes who protect the earth from outlandish alien villains and monsters. These series are then adapted into `Power Rangers' series for U.S. television. OHRANGERS became POWER RANGERS ZEO back in 1996, while CARRANGERS became its successor, POWER RANGERS TURBO in 1997. All U.S. Power Rangers series use action and effects footage from the Japanese originals, but with American actors playing the characters, in California settings, when the Rangers are out of costume.)
Since CARRANGERS was the newer series, its characters and villains get the most play in this special, which means that the far superior OHRANGERS gets short shrift. The plot has to do with the two Rangers teams becoming enemies when the Carrangers inadvertently aid the last of the Machine Empire's robot villains as it's being hunted down by the Ohrangers. The Carrangers' car-themed monster villains then team up with the Ohrangers. Eventually the Carrangers realize their mistake and side with the Ohrangers and the two teams combat the combined villains.
The Carrangers were a particularly silly lot as were their villains and this silliness undermines this particular entry. There are some bright spots, however. At one point, the Ohrangers' commander, Captain Miura (played by Hiroshi Miyauchi, star of the very first sentai series, GORANGER, back in 1975), puts the Carrangers (a quintet of rather lazy auto mechanics) through their paces in a mini-boot camp of army training. (The Ohrangers were some sort of officers in a secret air force division.) Of course, they have a hard time of it and Ohrangers fans can only laugh at seeing this bunch get their comeuppance.