Thursday, September 18, 2014

ShyRanger's Top 10 Red Rangers

10. Jack (S.P.D.)
He was kind of a jerk, bringing character and personality to a good, diverse cast.

9. Eric (Time Force)
Eric still has one of best 6th Ranger story arcs to date and rightfully deserves to be counted as a Red Ranger.

8. Rocky (MMPR)
He just wants to have fun and knows how to do it while still kicking butt.

7. Tommy (Zeo)
Way back when Tommy was still my favorite Ranger and I enjoyed the arrowhead storyline.

6. Scott (RPM)
Taking orders from Dr. K and his father, while facing the death of his brother and the apocalypse - Scott had a lot going for him.

5. TJ (Turbo)
He was only a leader for a short time but TJ took on the position with a fun attitude and will forever be the true Red Turbo Ranger. (And who else can say they got baked into a giant pizza?)

4. Leo (Lost Galaxy)
Leo saved Earth and Mirinoi, and basically self destructed the battlizer to defeat Trakeena. And to think he started out as a stowaway on Terra Venture.

3. Jason (MMPR)
Besides being the original - putting up with Rita and fighting Goldar in the Dark Dimension gets my vote any day.

2. Andros (In Space)
He was the original Space Ranger with a huge Megaship and would have some of the best storylines ever. HELL YES.

1. Wes (Time Force)
Fighting to save the future and let go of his fathers wishes while a relationship bloomed, Wes is the man at #1.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

PMC Week Recap

The convention happening every two years offers plenty of time to keep things fresh and exciting, depending on what's going on with Power Rangers and the fandom at the time. With this PMC I looked forward to switching things up a bit by driving down and back with Batz and Ryland, and having the hotel room one less night. Though there weren't as many people from Mutant Chat I'd know, there'd be folks going I've gotten to know within the last 2 years I'd want to chat with, or had seen at a previous PMC I had yet to talk to.

The trip to Los Angeles began Tuesday evening after Batz and I ran a few errands and got dinner. It was getting late by the time we picked up Ryland in Olympia so we didn't really stop for more than 2 hours overnight. After Batz had to had to take care of a few things it was midnight Thursday by the time I was dropped off at my sisters place, while the guys headed to the Pasadena Sheraton Hotel.

Thursday, my sister and her boyfriend took me around Little Tokyo followed by Central Market for a very late lunch. Later, while they were busy, I caught up on Twitter and Facebook as people were getting ready for the convention, and hungout in Mutant Chat almost as if I was home.

Friday we had lunch at Beachwood Cafe on the way to Pasadena and it was about 3:30 by the time I checked into the hotel. As the doors officially opened at 4:00, I got my badge and swag bag, dropped it off in the room, grabbed by holder for autographs, and ventured out onto the convention floor. I took in the sights of the Bandai Booth and tables upon tables of dealers toys for sale, and I got underway with meeting first-timers to PMC - Danny Slavin (Leo, Lost Galaxy), Kevin Duhaney (Ethan, DinoThunder), Ari Boyland (Flynn, RPM) and Melody Perkins (Astronema/Karone, In Space and Lost Galaxy). At 7:00 I saw a small Turbo/Space Panel, followed by one with various villains from the show. At 9:00 was "The Night Zero Show with Eric Francisco" - a fun, intimate chat with folks from the fandom - and featuring Ron Rogge (Captain Mitchell, Lightspeed Rescue) and Richard Brancatisano (Xander, Mystic Force). Pretty much anyone with a podcast and/or popular web site in the fandom was in the room, usually with their posse. It was interesting all being in the same room, sort of reminding me of the RangerBoard party from the original PMC in 2007 (but under different circumstances of course). Afterwards, Batz and some of the guys prepared to head over to the local theater for a comedy thing Ryland was doing. I had yet to even have dinner, so I stayed behind, grabbed a smoothie and bagel, and caught up on social media for the day.

Saturday I got going around 9:00 to check out the line for the exclusive Ranger Key Pack and get a shirt they had ran out of on Friday (but to no avail, which instead is supposed to be getting mailed). I said hi to Richard Brancatisano before settling into the 10:00 Mighty Morphin/Zeo Panel, followed by the Samurai Panel at 11:30. As the crowd grew (and with it, the line at the concession stand), I hustled back to my room for a high protein bar, to get back in time for Saban's Super Megaforce Panel at 1:00. Judd Lynn, returning as Executive Producer after previously stepping in to finish RPM (who's also best known some amazing classic seasons way back 13-15 years ago) hosted a Q&A with the current cast, which was followed by a trailer for Dino Charge in 2016 and the cast reveal everyone had been waiting for.

Later, I met first-timers Sean Cw Johnson and Keith Robinson (Carter and Joel, Lightspeed Rescue) and snapped a quick photo of the Super Megaforce limited cast autograph signing, I missed out on. I checked out a panel with a couple of longtime writers making their PMC debuts at 3:30, then caught Jason Narvy (Skull, seasons 1-7, 10, 19) entertaining the crowd at his panel with Felix Ryan (Spike, Samurai/Super Samurai). I then met Valerie Landon (Kendrix, Lost Galaxy), first-timer and sweetheart Kimberley Crossman (Lauren, Super Samurai), as well as Matt Mullins (Len/Wing Knight, Kamen Rider Dragon Knight). I saw the S.P.D. Panel at 6:30 and then metup with Batz as he got preparations underway for Ranger Bar's Pink Dolphin Party. I enjoyed a much needed iced latte and sandwich in our room before we went back to the convention for Night 2 of The Night Zero Show. Back at our room, the party eventually got going and the night took a very interesting turn after reports came out of Hector David Jr (Mike, Samurai/Super Samurai) getting into an altercation with PMC staff... and it was all downhill from there. Eventually, Ryland and Evan (who came to stay in our room overnight) and I got some sleep, while Batz was busy keeping an eye on the action.

Sunday morning we tried to use free passes for the gold membership breakfast but couldn't get in. Meanwhile, Hector was passed out outside our door, having likely crashed on the carpet on the way down the hall to his room a few hours prior. I killed time on the convention floor, meeting first-timers Jeff Parazzo (Trent, DinoThunder), Rhett Fisher (Ryan, Lightspeed Rescue) and Brad Hawkins (Ryan, VR Troopers and Gold Ranger voice in Zeo). I grabbed a hot dog and frappuccino before checking out the Lost Galaxy/Lightspeed Rescue Panel at noon, followed by Time Force/Wild Force. In between panels I said hi to two of my favorite cast members - Jason Faunt and Erin Cahill (Wes/Alex and Jen), as well as first-timer Michael Copon (Lucas), all from Time Force. Crunch time was on for final autographs/photos, as I met first-timers Alison MacInnis (Dana, Lightspeed Rescue), Steven Skyler (Antonio, Samurai/Super Samurai), and in a surprise, Erika Fong (Mia, Samurai/Super Samurai), who had come in for the last 2 hours of the convention after I missed her on Saturday. As the weekend was reaching the end, the line for Austin St. John (Jason, the original Red Ranger and Gold Ranger in Zeo), dwindled down (after being pretty extensive throughout the weekend), so I took the opportunity to meet him and I saw a Goldar cosplayer having some fun with him, Walter Jones ("The Original Black Ranger!") and Kerrighan Mahan (the voice of Goldar). At 4:30 was the Closing Ceremony and announcement of Power Morphicon 2016.

This years PMC was a wrap, and Batz, Ryland and I soon headed over to Barney's Beanery for Brad Hawkins After Party. We ran into others along the way as we walked a couple blocks, and eventually the three of us sat down for some food. Brad held an auction for charity and we pretty much hung out for a few hours. Back at our room, the night was way less eventful and more chilled than the night before. We left Pasadena Monday afternoon and the trip back went smoother I thought, since we didn't need to run any errands before or after (other than food for the road), so It didn't feel as dragged out and we stopped to rest in a car for a good couple hours. My favorite part was stopping by Voodoo Doughtnuts in Portland I had never been to. And checking out the beautiful west was pretty cool too. ^_^

One thing I expect to improve on next time is go to the panels on Friday and Saturday that have full or near-full casts, rather than wait until the second panel when more of the cast is likely to have left already. The  panels with a variety of cast (all villains, all females, all Blue Rangers, etc) can be watched online at home after. I don't think I made the best decision with that this year. Also I'll consider ordering breakfast during registration in a year from now and skipping the t-shirts (may not be a bad idea after how I was nearly skipping meals at this PMC). If the convention floor concessions got busy, I was expecting to run across to the grocery store, but turns out it was gone.

There will definitely be certain cast members I'll want to see first thing at PMC5 who I've missed out on and I'll except to go back to flying down and settling in the hotel room on Thursday to get a head start Friday that I'm more accustomed to doing. As I told almost everyone I got an autograph from, the convention just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It was clear the moment I stepped in on Friday when it was already getting busy, and unless there was a big panel going on, the floor pretty much stayed busy. With the big Power Rangers movie coming July 22, 2016, PMC will get only bigger and it's sure to coincide at or near the movie premiere. They'll probably have the Dino Charge cast for a limited time (like they did with Megaforce this year), and I look forward to what they do with the currently unknown movie cast.

Thanks to Batz, Quispy, Evan, Dan, Shamus and everyone else I chilled with/talked to for a great weekend! Check out my photos here.