August 05, 2023



(ABC, February 15-November 15, 2003)
BVS Entertainment, Renaissance Atlantic Entertainment, Toei Company Ltd., Village Roadshow KP Productions Limited



Power Rangers Ninja Storm is the 12th incarnation of the Power Rangers franchise, the 11th season overall, and what many fans consider the official start of the Disney-era (which technically began halfway through production of Wild Force). It utilized footage from Toei Company, Ltd.’s 26th Super Sentai series, Ninpu Sentai Hurricaneger. Following the acquisition of Saban Entertainment by Disney, Disney had originally planned to cancel the franchise at the end of Wild Force; however, they were convinced to keep it going when they learned they could produce it at a fraction of the cost by moving producing to New Zealand. Disney also chose to make the series non-union, resulting in much of the crew—including long-time producer Jonathan Tzachor—being let go. MMPR Productions, the subsidiary of Saban that oversaw production of the franchise, was dissolved and BVS Entertainment was assigned to its place. Doug Sloan and Ann Austen, who worked on the franchise from Mighty Morphin through half of Turbo, returned to run the show for Disney. Sloan also brought back long-time writer Jackie Marchand, who had left after Time Force due to disagreements with Tzachor about sticking closer to Sentai plots, to serve a story editor. Koichi Sakamoto, long-time stunt coordinator, producer and director for the franchise, remained, however he was replaced by Makoto Yokoyama as Ninja Storm’s stunt director and was solely an executive producer.

Wind Ninja Academy.

In the city of Blue Bay Harbor, skateboarder Shane Clarke (Pua Magasiva), surfer Tori Hanson (Sally Martin) and dirt biker Waldo “Dustin” Brooks (Glenn McMillan) were students of the Wind Ninja Academy under the instruction of Sensei Kanoi Watanabe (Grant McFarland) and his son, Cameron (Jason Chan). However, they were far from the best students and often late to class, making their ascent into full-fledged ninja a doubt. One day, banished ninja master and Kanoi’s identical twin brother Lothor (McFarland) returned and attacked the academy, leaving only the three of them, Cam and Kanoi transformed into a guinea pig. They retreated to the underground Ninja Ops, a secret state-of-the-art dojo and headquarters below the Academy, where they were given Wind Morphers, turning them into Power Rangers in order to fight back.

Dustin, Shane and Tori in their regular ninja gear.

Due to their ninja training, Shane, Tori and Dustin all possessed abilities independent of their Ranger forms. Each one had superhuman speed, agility, stealth and resistance to telepathic intrusion. As Rangers, they had an ability based on an element: Shane, the Red Wind Ranger, could manipulate air currents; Tori, the Blue Wind Ranger, could manipulate water; and Dustin, the Yellow Wind Ranger, could manipulate earth and burrow beneath it, as well as create a duplicate of himself. Each Ranger had a ninja sword which gained increased power in a Gold Mode developed by Cam, as well as the ability to fire lasers from their Morphers. Individually, Shane had the Hawk Blaster, which fired powerful air blasts via a turbine, Tori the Sonic Fin, which was a sonic wave device resembling a megaphone, and Dustin the Lion Hammer, which could be used to cause tremors when struck on the ground. Their weapons could be combined to form the Storm Striker, with the weapon configurations determining the ultimate effect: Red in the lead emitted a fireball finisher, Blue created a soundwave bubble that engulfed a target and exploded, and Yellow creates a beam whose end turns into a huge 100-ton weight that flattened the target explosively. Shane would gain an armor upgrade, the Tri-Battlized Armor activated through the Lightning Morpher, from an alien being named Skyla (Jamie Passier-Armstrong) whom he rescued years ago as a kid. It not only made him stronger, but it allowed him to fly via a hawk-themed add-on, gave him a hawk-themed sword and shield, and allowed him to channel energy for an Ultra-Laser final attack.

The Wind Ninja Rangers.

For transportation and use against gigantic monsters, each Ranger had a Zord vehicle. Shane piloted the Hawkzord, a jet that could set itself on fire for a powerful divebomb through an enemy, which appeared out of a hologram of an airplane. Tori had the Dolphinzord, which could create tidal waves or summon the hologram of a tsunami to distract from a direct physical assault, and appeared from a hologram of a cruise ship. Dustin drove the Lionzord, which could create tornadoes and appeared from the hologram of a Ferris wheel and rollercoaster track. They combined to form the Storm Megazord, which could utilize all three Zords’ abilities. A variation was Lightning Mode, which slimmed the Megazord down giving it amazing speed and agility and large blades out of its wrists. The Megazord could also be enhanced with Power Spheres accessed by the insertion of special Power Disks, giving it new kinds of weapon combinations. Additionally, they had gliders that were summoned by pressing their belt buckles, and Tsunami Cycles created by Cam transported in the Mobile Command Center.

The Thunder Ninja Rangers.

However, the Wind Rangers weren’t the only Rangers. There was also a Thunder Ninja Academy, run by Sensei Omino (Albert Heimuli). Adopted brothers Hunter (Adam Tuominen) and Blake (Jorgito Vargas Jr.) were not only students there, but were orphans raised by Omino. Lothor managed to convince the brothers that the Wind Rangers were responsible for their parents’ deaths, turning them against them until they figured out they had been duped and became their allies. Armed with Thunder Morphers, Hunter became the Crimson Thunder Ranger and Blake the Navy Thunder Ranger. Their shared weapon was the Thunder Staff, which could act as an offensive staff, a throwing weapon, or become a shield. Individually, Crimson had the Crimson Blaster, which could fire rapid bursts of energy, and Navy had the Navy Antler, which could ensnare and electrify enemies and be attached to the Thunder Staff. Their weapons could be combined into the Thunder Blaster, which in turn could be combined with the Storm Striker. Omino also gave Blake the Thunder Blade, a special dual-bladed staff that he learned to use through training with Omino’s daughter, Leanne (Angela Bloomfield). After taking down the mechanical entity known as Motodrone (Craig Parker), Hunter acquired the motorcycle Motodrone tried to use his powers on, gaining a Ninja Glider Cycle. They also had their own Zords: the Crimson Insectizord, resembling a Japanese rhinoceros beetle combined with a tank that could fire energy blasts, and the Navy Beetlezord, resembling a stag beetle combined with a monster truck that could grab enemies with its pincers and had a cloaking device. They could combine to form the Thunder Megazord, or combine with the Storm Megazord to create the Thunderstorm Megazord.

The Samurai Ranger.

Finally, there was Cam. Not satisfied with merely supporting the Rangers with technology, he was given a chance to become a more active participant by acquiring the Miko’s amulet in the past, which allowed him to become the Green Samurai Ranger. Along with his sword and a Super Samurai Mode that made him more proficient with it as well as enhanced his physical attributes, Cam also had a Lightning Riff Blaster that looked like a guitar on top and the Samurai Saber, which could be used as both a sword and a blunt weapon when sheathed. Its computerized handle allowed him to remotely communicate with Ninja Ops computers. His Zords included the swallow-like Samurai Star Chopper armed with laser cannons and the ability to transform into the Samurai Star Megazord, and the ancient Mammothzord that could be summoned by the Blaster’s guitar mode and shot Power Spheres from its trunk as well as could be ridden by the Megazord. The Samurai Star Megazord could combine with the others to create the Hurricane Megazord, which could then become the Hurricane Ultrazord by riding the Mammothzord. Cam also briefly piloted the Dragonforce Vehicle, powered by the Gem of Lost Souls that had a turtle-like compact mode with drills and a dragon mode that shot flames.

Lothor, the big bad.

Lothor was formidable as a ninja student, however he overcompensated for his insecurities by developing an overbearing ego. Craving power, he began practicing dark ninja magic and attempted to steal a mystical samurai pendant from a fellow student named Miko (Roseanne Liang), who would become Kanoi’s wife and Cam’s mother. He was caught, expelled and banished from Earth until he returned in his current form. He was capable of hypnosis, energy blasts, an electrified force field, a tractor beam that could grab enemies from afar, and had wind powers similar to Shane’s. He also wielded a katana blade.

Lothor and his followers.

Lothor’s main general was Zurgane (Peter Rowley), a dual sword-wielding karakuri robot controlled by an alien bug inside its shell (not revealed on the show, but on the action figure) that could teleport, fire energy from his fingers and face, ensnare enemies in an energy sphere, and capable of bursts of super speed. He was also a technological expert and could give monsters an upgrade. Lieutenant (later General) Choobo (Bruce Hopkins) wielded a staff that could summon energy spheres to trap enemies and frequently used monsters based on animals. He could teleport, leap high, turn invisible, use magic, fire energy blasts, control enemies like puppets and give them lightning powers, breath fire and fire lightning from his eyes. He could also turn into a giant transparent version of his head capable of breathing out a noxious gas. Vexacus (Michael Hurst) was a shark-themed bounty hunter who was once the “sworn enemy” of Lothor before becoming the head general of his army. Along with his sword that could do a variety of energy attacks and a fan blade, he could also teleport, travel via a ball, fire sludge balls from his hand, and summon a land shark from the ground. Shimazu (Jeremy Birchall) was an ancient warlord whose spirit was sealed in an ancient mask carved in his likeness and was reincarnated in the present to become one of Lothar’s generals. Along with lightning beams, teleportation, energy redirection and turning into a giant version of his head with a massive tongue, he could summon wolf-life monsters called Wolfblades to aid him in battle. Kapri (Katrina Browne) and Marah (Katrina Devine) were Lothor’s ditzy nieces by marriage, who tried to prove they belonged in their uncle’s evil army but their plans often ended up flopping. However, it would turn out they were both faking their ineptitude in order to secretly work on heir own plan to overthrow their uncle and take over. Kapri had various kinds of super breath, an energy shield, teleportation and the ability to change size and appearance at will, while Marah fired energy beams and lightning bolts, also had a shield and teleportation, could fire energy ropes from her eyes due to a jewel on her headpiece, and change her clothes with a snap of her fingers. Together, they could combine their powers to form a mega beam of energy. The minions that comprised the majority of Lothor’s army were the ninja-like Kelzaks, or the upgraded and more powerful Kelzak Furies, which could be summoned at any time with a device called the Personal Alien Manager.

Sensei Kanoi in his guinea pig form.

Other characters included Kelly (Megan Nicol), the owner of extreme sports store Storm Chargers where the Rangers hung out and Dustin worked; Cyber Cam (Chan), a virtual replicant created by Cam to monitor things at the base when he was out as a Ranger; and Porter Clarke (Robbie Magasiva), Shane’s older brother (played by his actual brother) who was a successful businessman and always lectured him about getting his act together.

Lothor and his inept (?) nieces.

Power Rangers Ninja Storm debuted on February 15, 2003 on ABC as part of the ABC Kids programming block. The series was written by Sloan, Austen, Marchand, Mark Hoffmeier, Steve Slavkin, Art Brown and John Tellegen. Ninja Storm took on a noticeably more comedic tone than seasons past, with frequent nods and winks to the audience and fourth wall breaks. Lothor in particular was a lot more fun and less melodramatic than his predecessors, displaying a sense of humor. While fans initially had trouble reconciling this dramatic shift, the show ended up becoming a commercial success with a boost in sales to Bandai’s toyline, and Ninja Storm came to be regarded as one of the best seasons. The episode “Snip it, Snip it Good” was initially planned to air earlier in the run, but as it dealt with a peace conference to avoid war it was deemed that its anti-war message wouldn’t be appropriate given that the Iraq War had just begun. It aired later with the conference becoming an environmental one. The series’ costumes were designed by Gavin McLean and supervised by Deb Brown and Debalina Rose, and the music was composed by Bruce Lynch and Frank Strangio.  

One team, different types of Rangers.

Continuing with the number of firsts this series contained, this was the first Power Rangers series to feature neither a Pink or White Ranger, and the first to have both two Red and Blue Rangers. It was also the first to start with only three Rangers, despite the team eventually getting filled out with the usual six, and the first to feature Rangers from three different factions rather than all from a unified power source and each with their own Morphin call. Because of the expense of hiring and flying the American actors over, this was the first season to not feature any interaction with previous Rangers. In fact, an early attempt was made to suggest that those previous Ranger series were just comic book stories in-universe and that Ninja Storm was the first “real” incarnation; however, this idea wasn’t well-received and was quickly abandoned. This also began the era of cast and crew interactions with fans, with Sloan, Chan and Martin often posting on Rangerboard and the Newsgroup.

Ninja and Dino Rangers.

The Wind Rangers would appear in the crossover episode of Dino Thunder, “Thunder Storm”, brainwashed into serving Lothor after he escaped from the Abyss of Evil. The Thunder and Samurai Rangers had to recover their lost powers and snap them out of it so that the Rangers could fight against the alliance of Lothor and Mesagog (Latham Gaines). Incidentally, Devine would appear as a new supporting character in Dino Thunder and both of her characters met each other during the crossover. In Operation Overdrive’s “Once a Ranger”, the Sentinel Knight (Nic Sampson) assembled a team of veteran Rangers to replace the Overdrive Rangers when they lost their powers. Tori would be among that number. In Super Megaforce, the Ninja Rangers were part of the army of Legendary Rangers called upon to help defeat the Armada once and for all in the episode “Legendary Battle”; however, the actors themselves weren’t featured.

As with other entries in the franchise, Bandai produced a line of merchandise for the series ranging from action figures to role-play items. Newer figures were released as part of the Legacy Collection line that began in 2016. Only the Wind Rangers and the Storm Megazord were released. The Thunder Rangers and their Megazord were planned, but ended up being cancelled. When Hasbro took up the license, they released the Thunder Megazord in 2022.

Motorcycle training with the Red Wind Ranger in the PC game.

Natsume developed a side scrolling beat ‘em up for the Game Boy Advance published by THQ. Each of the six selectable Rangers had a special attack—Red the Hawk Blaster, Blue the Sonic Fin, Yellow the Lion Hammer, Crimson the Crimson Blaster, Navy the Navy Antler and Green the Shuriken Spin—and who was selected affected which level was played. After defeating the boss at the end of the level, they grew to giant size and the game changed to a quick time Megazord battle (one of three Megazord types were also determined by which character was being used). The game featured the only instance of the Squid Drill Power Sphere being used on its own by the Storm Megazord as well as its finisher, as the footage where it happened in Hurricaneger was not utilized for Ninja Storm. Artech Studios developed a PC game, also published by THQ. It was a point and click game that opened with 6 “training” mission minigames before allowing the player to go on to complete 6 missions and a final Megazord battle. The story, however, differed as it featured the Wind and Thunder Academies as rivals that needed to overcome and work together, and the Green Ranger’s identity was a mystery to everyone. The series’ main cast all supplied their voices. Power Rangers: Super Legends, released by Disney Interactive Studio for the 15th anniversary of the franchise on PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS in 2007, featured the Ninja Storm Rangers as playable characters: Crimson, Navy, Blue and Green in the PS2 version, and Red and Yellow in the DS with Green appearing as an NPC. The entire cast was viewable in the game’s Hall of Legends. 2017’s Power Rangers: Legacy Wars by nWay Games featured Blue, Green and Navy (with an alternate skin for Crimson).

An issue of the Tokyopop Cine-Manga.

Between 2003 and 2004, Tokyopop released three Cine-Mangas that adapted three episodes utilizing still images arranged in a comic format. The March 2003 issue of Disney Adventures magazine featured a Ninja Storm comic, “Kelzak Attack!”, as did the first issue of the UK’s Jetix Magazine released in September 2004 called “Starr Struck”, which was later reprinted in the 32nd issue. Power Rangers Magazine launched in 2005 in the UK as a tie-in to Dino Thunder, but carried three Ninja Storm comic strips in the first three issues. The Ninja Storm Rangers appeared during the 2018 crossover event “Shattered Grid” by BOOM! Studios. In the story following that event, “Beyond the Grid”, Cam joined a team of Rangers called the Solar Rangers along with the Ranger Slayer (an alternate Kimberly Hart), the Magna Defender, the Red Space Ranger, and the Yellow Zeo Ranger, along with Heckyl from Dino Charge and comic-exclusive characters Ellarien and Remi.

Complete series DVD.

Walt Disney Video released the first 22 episodes across 5 DVDs and VHS tapes beginning in 2003, including a VHS sampler, Nowhere to Grow, which included a first look at Dino Thunder. Jetix would release the complete series across 11 volumes. In 2013, Shout! Factory released the complete series as part of the season 8-12 box set, and then individually in 2016. For a time the series was available to stream on Netflix and is available to purchase digitally from Prime Video. The entire series has been made available to stream on Power Rangers’ official YouTube Channel. Magasiva’s last involvement with the franchise would be participating in the special features for the DVD release. In 2019, nearly 16 years since Ninja Storm ended, he took his own life after being convicted of domestic assault against his wife.


“Prelude to a Storm” (2/15/03) – Lothor returns to Earth and conquers the Ninja Academy, forcing three students to take up Power Ranger mantles to fight back against him.
“There’s No ‘I’ in Team” (2/15/03) – The new Rangers are having a hard time gelling, and a frustrated Red Ranger strikes out on his own to take on the Mad Magnet monster.
“Beauty and the Beach” (2/22/03) – Trying to shake her “one of the guys” image has Tori end up falling for a trap by Lothor’s nieces that ends with her being replaced by an evil double.
“Looming Thunder” (3/1/03) – Terra Mole causes earthquakes in the city as he burrows under it.
“Thunder Strangers, Part 1” (3/8/03) – The Thunder Rangers get their hands on the data disc for the Tsunami Cycles, giving them their own as they launch their attack on the Wind Rangers.
“Thunder Strangers, Part 2” (3/15/03) – The Wind Rangers don’t know what side the Thunder Rangers are on when they help defeat the monster, but end up kidnapping Sensei.
“Thunder Strangers, Part 3” (3/22/03) – The Wind Rangers attempt to rescue Sensei, however they must deal with zombie guards and Zurgane’s very own Zord.
“Nowhere to Grow” (3/29/03) – Cam wants to become more active in the battles and attempts to help defeat Lothor’s plant-based creature.
“Snip It, Snip It Good” (3/20/03) – While Shane and Dustin guard an environmental conference, Tori is sent to retrieve the Turtle Mace Power Sphere on her own.
“Return of Thunder, Part 1” (4/12/03) – Choobo tricks the Thunder Rangers into a trap that causes them to become brainwashed and in Lothor’s service once again.
“Return of Thunder, Part 2” (4/19/03) – The Thunder Rangers hunt the Wind Rangers on an island in the process of freezing the planet.
“Return of Thunder, Part 3” (4/26/03) – The Rangers must rescue Hunter from the monster’s influence and escape the island before it sinks with them all on it.
“Return of Thunder, Part 4” (5/3/03) – Banished for his failure, Choobo captures the Rangers on his own and traps them in a deadly backpack dimension.
“Boxing Bopp-A-Roo” (5/10/03) – Shane and Hunter’s competitive posturing with each other gives the Bopp-a-Roo monster an opportunity to take the Rangers down.
“Pork Chopped” (5/17/03) – The Wind Rangers head into another dimension to rescue the Thunder Rangers from General Trayf.
“The Samurai’s Journey, Part 1” (5/24/03) – The Madtropolis monster drains the Rangers of their powers, leaving them too weak to pilot their Zords against his giant form.
“The Samurai’s Journey, Part 2” (5/31/03) – Cam goes back in time with the hopes of acquiring his mother’s Samurai Amulet and learns the identity of Lothor.
“The Samurai’s Journey, Part 3” (6/7/03) – Cam is fine with returning to Ops duty, but is quickly pulled back into battle when five simultaneous monsters force the team to split up.
“Scent of a Ranger” (6/14/03) –Cam’s duplicate meant to run Ops in his absence tries to take over and causes the Rangers trouble in their battle with Fragra.
“I Love Lothor” (6/21/03) – Marah and Kapri plan to have the world turn itself over to Lothor through a hypnotizing TV show, which causes Cam and Blake to fight over Tori’s affections.
“Good Will Hunter” (6/28/03) – A kid Hunter is mentoring finds a Personal Alien Manager and inadvertently causes chaos around town with it.
“All About Beevil” (7/5/03) – Marah attempts to earn Dustin’s trust to further her plan to have Beevil destroy the Rangers.
“Sensei Switcheroo” (7/12/03) – Sensei switches bodies with Shane and Dustin to help the Rangers defeat the latest monster.
“Tongue and Cheek” (8/2/03) – Dustin begins getting a swelled head over his popularity as the Yellow Ranger, which causes some conflict with Shane.
“Brothers in Arms” (8/9/03) – A motocross mechanic’s experimentation leads to him becoming the evil Motodrone and wanting Hunter’s power for his bike.
“Shane’s Karma, Part 1” (8/9/03) – Shane has strange recurring dreams of helping an alien woman when he was younger, while Tori’s birthday party is crashed by Zurgane and his new Zord.
“Shane’s Karma, Part 2” (8/9/03) – With her death, Skyla leaves Shane her powers while Zurgane’s  Zord keeps stealing the Rangers’ Power Spheres.
“Shimazu Returns, Part 1” (8/16/03) – Cam’s trip to the museum is crashed by Marah, Kapri and a new Motodrone, and the alien warlord Shimazu ends up revived for good measure.
“Shimazu Returns, Part 2” (8/23/03) – Shimazu’s Wolfblades prove more than a match for the Zords, leaving it up to Cam to find a component necessary to help them.
“The Wild Wipeout” (9/20/03) – Tori accidentally ends up in another dimension where she must help a good Lothor defeat the evil Power Rangers.
“Double-Edged Blake” (9/27/03) – Tori decides to follow Blake to see what secret activity he’s been up to and discovers him with another girl.
“Eye of the Storm” (9/27/03) – Shane’s secret identity is exposed to his visiting older brother.
“General Deception, Part 1” (10/4/03) – Camping must wait as the Rangers are caught in a power struggle between Lothor’s generals and Zurgane’s new Zord steals their technology.
“General Deception, Part 2” (10/4/03) – Zurgane uses his stolen data to create a new Zord that disables the Hurricane Megazord.
“A Gem of a Day” (10/18/03) – Cam attempts a rescue mission of the ninja academy students.
“Down and Dirty” (10/18/03) – Marah and Kapri reveal their ineptitude was all an act as part of their scheme to overthrow Lothor by destroying the Rangers themselves.
“Storm Before the Calm, Part 1” (11/15/03) – The Rangers compete in the Action Games while Lothor plans to destroy the Earth by opening the Abyss of Evil.
“Storm Before the Calm, Part 2” (11/15/03) – The Rangers battle Lothor for the last time, sending him into the Abyss but not before losing their powers in the process.

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