Over the decades, Japan has put out some now-iconic franchises which global audiences adore. Pokemon and Mario are just the tip of the pop culture iceberg as anime still stands as the country’s largest cultural export. Titles like Dragon Ball quickly took the world by storm once they premiered, and even live-action shows such as Super Sentai were given life in the U.S. under new names. With so much content being pushed out, it’s no surprise to learn some very famous anime franchises were inspired by other on-going projects in Japan.
So, really, it’s only fitting to know the creator of Dragon Ball sourced some characters from Japan’s version of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
In the an interview for Dragon Ball’s “Super History Book,” the creator shared in-depth details about his massive series. It was there the artist was asked how he came up with designs for characters. Toriyama confessed everything came down to whatever was influencing him at the time. So, when it came time to create the Ginyu Special Force, the artist turned to Japan’s Super Sentai.
“When coming up with new characters, I try to go with types I haven’t drawn much before. Like with the Ginyu Special Force, my kids were little at the time and were really into Sentai heroes, so I thought: ‘Hey, those are interesting.’” Toriyama explained.
“It was real easy, since their uniforms would obviously be the same pattern as what the rest of Freeza’s army had on. It wasn’t too different than what all the mooks wore. So all I had to do was put five guys together and call them a “Special Force”.”
Just by looking at the Ginyu Force members, the connection between the team and the Power Rangers are obvious. Their over-the-top poses and formation-friendly strategies are all too similar. But, instead of Rita Repulsa, the Ginyu Force was pitted against a much more terrifying beast: Son Goku.
As for Freeza, Toriyama also gave insight into how the character was created. The artist was not able to recall specific details, but he vaguely remembered basing him off a “queen or something” he’d seen in a movie.
As for the saga's start date, the new arc premiered on February 5, 2017. The “Universal Survival” saga is part of the recent simulcast agreement that sites like Crunchyroll and Funimation have scored. Dragon Ball Super airs on Crunchyroll Saturdays at 7:15 p.m. CST. Toonami will begin airing the English dub on Adult Swim Saturdays at 11:30 p.m.