Title: Sentai no Tamashii
It amazes me that this video has become so popular...so "legendary," if you will. I never made it to become well-known. I never expected to have more than a handful of friends show interest in seeing it. I just made it because I enjoy sentai, and I love Nightwish as a band, and felt that the song and the footage went well together. I'm glad that so many people do love it, and I'm glad that I not only helped kick-start other Power Rangers/sentai/tokusatsu music video creators, but helped more people discover a band that they may never have heard of if it weren't for me.
Sure, it hasn't held up well quality-wise since I created it, but it still stands as a landmark within the fandoms, and I see no need to replace it or redo it anytime soon.
The old description
I don't know if anyone's ever done a sentai music video before, so I guess I could consider this one of the first ones ever made, at least by an American fan. All I knew was that I had to make one sooner or later, because the urge was just getting so overwhelming. I only needed to find a good song first before I could do that.
Anyway . . . for those who didn't know, sentai (the literal translation from Japanese is "battle team" or "task force") is the genre of Japanese live-action shows that features a team of superheroes, usually five and dressed in color-coded spandex suits and full-face helmets, who battle the forces of evil and often do so with big flashy robots. They've been around since the mid-70's, and there's a new one each year with new heroes, super powers, villains, stories, and mecha. Although they're supposed to be meant for kids, the storylines are much darker and more mature than anything that would be seen in America, and one can sometimes easily forget that these shows are supposed to be for kids in the first place. Most Americans know some of these sentai series as the often lighter-in-tone Power Ranger series that have been on TV since 1993; usually one year's sentai series becomes the following year's PR series. (For example, this year's PR Wild Force was adapted from last year's Gaoranger, and next year's PR Ninja Storm will be adapted from this year's Hurricanger.)
So why did I use this music with sentai footage? Although "10th Man Down" is mostly a war-oriented song, there were elements of it that made me think of the good-vs.-evil battles that always take place in sentai, as well as the never-say-die attitudes the heroes always have, even when the odds are greatly stacked up against them. This can especially be the case when the main heroes never expected to be heroes in the first place, which makes the "this ain't my fight" line often stand out (case in point: the scene of Tatsuya/TimeRed from Timeranger). And even though some sentai series can be light-hearted, I wanted to show the fighting as being serious and meaningful at the same time, trying to show a group of heroes working together for the common goal of banishing evil from the world. Of course, because of the nature of the song, I did have to improvise in some places because the lyrics wouldn't fit with the footage, but I don't think that should detract from the video too much.
About the footage itself . . . Most of my clips in this came from the Gaoranger vs. Super Sentai movie, as it was a veritable treasure trove of footage from all the various sentai series up to that point. Gaoranger was the 25th anniversary sentai series, so this movie was to commemorate that, as well as bring back a few characters from previous series as well (including JAKQ's Big One, Liveman's Red Falcon, Megaranger's MegaPink, Gingaman's GingaBlue, and GoGo V's GoYellow, not to mention appearances at the end by every single Red Ranger there has ever been in sentai). Another large portion of my footage came from Hurricanger episodes, as that's the sentai currently airing in Japan and one of the easiest for me to acquire. (Clips from this, as well as one Gaoranger episode I managed to find, can be easily spotted because of their timestamps stuck in the upper left corner, but because they're not too big, they shouldn't detract from the video too much.) After that is the teamup movie Timeranger vs. GoGo V, which is where most of my clips featuring those characters came from. When I had about 75% of the video done, I'd finally acquired a few single episodes from 1983's Dynaman, 1992's Zyuranger (which became the first season for Power Rangers), and 1997's Megaranger, so I was able to drop a few clips from those in too. As a result of all of this footage, clips from every single sentai series ever made can be seen in this video, spanning from 1975 to present.
But there may be some sentai fans that are wondering something: Why no footage of the mecha? Well, simply put, I didn't have enough to work from if I wanted to show mecha from more than just the series I had mecha footage from, so I decided to just leave them out of this for now. If I ever decide to make other sentai music videos focusing on specific series, you'll probably see mecha action in those.
Now about the video as a whole. Since Windows Movie Maker no longer works for me at all, this is my first project edited entirely in Pinnacle Studio 7 SE, and took three weeks to finish. However, as you may be able to see when watching the video, it wasn't without some problems that were beyond my repair. I can't tell if it was a problem with the footage or the program itself (I'm guessing the former), but it was very fussy with fades when it came to moving footage, making it look blocky and ugly; as a result, the only fades that show up are at the beginning and end, with everything else in the video being straight cuts. It seemed to be just fine when used with still images and captions on a black background for some odd reason. *shrug* Also, it must've been something in the clips itself, but these blocky blotches of color seem to show up in a few clips from the Hurricanger episodes and the Gaoranger episode I used (which destroyed a really cool clip of GaoSilver ;_;), as well as a little bit from the Timeranger vs. GoGo V movie. (Thankfully, those are only small, isolated problem areas.) I tried re-rendering the complete video several times over and in various formats to try to get these problems to go away, but nothing would work. I deeply apologize for that. If ever a time comes that I can acquire better source footage to use, I may try redoing this.
All problems aside, I'm proud of what I could accomplish with what I had. When I was able to match up footage with certain lyrics, they seemed to become very meaningful to me. For this reason, I'm quite partial to the clips I used for the first part of the second verse featuring a grown-up Red Falcon/Yuusuke from Liveman (a character I found to be quite intriguing in the Gaoranger vs. Super Sentai movie), and then the scenes later on with the Goranger heroes as "the first ones to see" followed by the characters of Hurricanger as "the last ones to bleed," showing the first sentai heroes juxtaposed with most recent heroes. I also enjoyed using the dynamics of the music itself, trying to synchronize blasts, sword strikes, jumps, and so on with the beats and other sounds. In short, you could consider this like an introduction to sentai to those who don't know much about it, as well as an action-filled romp through the genre's long history that seasoned fans can also enjoy.
I'm mainly showing this to an anime-oriented audience for the most part (though I'm sure some sentai fans will no doubt stumble upon this as well), but I hope this will help give people more respect for both this genre and the Power Rangers series that were created from them.