A sketch from Tsuyoshi Nonaka featuring the red Samurai Ranger in Mega Mode.
Let’s get this started by saying that the only way these pictures are official at all is that they were drawn by Tsuyoshi Nonaka, that’s it. Good? Good. Now on to the cool stuff!
What you see here are redesigns that Tsuyoshi Nonaka has done for DaiZyuJin and Tyranno Ranger that were presented during his panels at Power Morphicon this past weekend. Again, this isn’t anything official in the sense that it’s happening or that he’s shown to people at Toei. These designs are just the sort of places he thinks it would be cool to take Sentai design work sometime in the near future to give them a big budget look. It’s a lot to take in at first but I ended up loving the redesign on the helmet. Something I always felt odd about the original helmet design with was that the mouth ended at the visor. Having the mouth extend to the bottom of the chin gives it that sense of the entire helmet being a head. It also gives it that sense of a T-Rex having eaten a guy but, hey, that’s life!
His redesign idea for DaiZyuJin isn’t actually all that appealing to my eyes. The head seems way to small in proportion to that puffed out chest. If you fix that, I think you would actually have a nifty looking robot design. Pterodactyl actually does something for once here! I think he’s bringing in some of that anime super robot aesthetic that sometimes have the robots sporting larger limbs, at least with the chest. I dunno, it’s not the prettiest thing, but given a few tweaks, this would be a very awesome design to see in battle.
So, now for a little history lesson! Tsuyoshi Nonaka isn’t just some random guy they gave a panel to at Morphicon who happens to draw well. The guy has over 20 years of history working with Bandai and PLEX designing anime characters and heroes for countless shows. His first breakthrough was actually designing DaiZyuJin, it was actually one of the earliest works of his to see screen time. You can tell this guy was looking to impress with his designs. Since then, he’s going to to work on shows from Ultraman Tiga to every Kamen Rider through Agito and Kabuto, you’ll often find his name somewhere on the art books for these shows. He’s even contributed a ton to the awesome Rangers Strike card game. (and done a few things for Dice-O and Gambaride too!) Nonaka’s not justed worked on Sentai either. If you saw the panel we posted a few days ago, you’ll know that he also designed that Mega Mode suits used in Power Rangers Super Samurai. In addition to that, he did the design for the main robot in Mazinkazin SKL, something I would say could be considered a huge honor.
So, what do you guys think? Would this be the sort of look that could work for Sentai in the years to come? With Go-Busters it’s become pretty evident that Toei is trying to play around with the look and give things a broader appeal. While the Go-Busters suits are amazing, seeing something in this style for a year would be pretty cool. Though the use of the Mega Modes doesn’t quite make sense within the show, you’ve got to admit that those things do look pretty awesome. There’s a nice, big budget look to them that carries a broader appeal. This isn’t meant as a knock to the spandex we’ve all been used to for most of Sentai’s life, but change is good every now and then. I’ve always loved the look of the suits sporting the cloth material from the pre-Dynaman days and was so pumped to see that Go-Busters was going to be trying something different for once. In general? Go-Busters has had some pretty cool action with those suits and it would be great to see Sentai continue to change things up every now and then.
This isn’t the first time someone at Bandai/PLEX has toyed around with the idea of giving the gear the Rangers have a more detailed look, as can be seen here in the proposed robot designs for what would have been a third batch of original Zyuranger footage for Power Rangers.