has published an interesting article profiling Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, the lost Japanese show that was the basis for (and eventually became) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

“Sentai” shows like Zyuranger and Power Rangers had already long been a hit in Japan. At one point in the ‘70s, Marvel’s Stan Lee even tried to bring a Sentai show, Sun Vulcan (pictured), to America, but was unable to strike a deal.

Via io9:

“Zyuranger is now known as the progenitor of Power Rangers in the U.S.—but that almost wasn’t the case. American audiences could’ve experienced the wave of mania that accompanied Mighty Morphin Power Rangers almost a decade earlier—and it would’ve been thanks to Marvel founder Stan Lee.”

Zyuranger featured five heroes—Boi, Mei, Dan, Goushi, and Geki—who battled their evil rival, Bandora the witch. Each “ranger” connected with a prehistoric Guardian Beast, “and they invoked their powers to summon giant robot dinosaurs.” Sound familiar?

When creating Power Rangers, Saban Entertainment borrowed all of its action scenes from Zyuranger and created an entirely new plot—with new actors, characters and settings—around them, io9 reports.

But some plot elements were reused for Power Rangers: For one, Bandora the witch simply became Rita Repulsa.

“In the West,” io9's James Whitbrook writes, “Zyuranger long remained a sort of ‘secret’ to Power Rangers as a franchise—it was rarely if ever acknowledge that the series had an ongoing relationship with Toei’s Super Sentai series. In fact, despite over two decades of Power Rangers shows airing in America, not a single Super Sentai show in its original form has officially made its way to the U.S."

Read the full piece here, and let us know your thoughts.