Cult TV Essentials

Cult TV Essentials: Power Rangers Jungle Fury

Power Rangers Jungle Fury is the sixteenth season in Power Rangers franchise. It is based on the Super Sentai series Juken Sentai Gekiranger. It launched in February 2008 and ran for 32 episodes.

As the series open we learn that for over 10,000 years, a spirit of pure evil known as Dai Shi has been locked away and safely guarded by the Pai Zhua – The Order of the Claw – a secretive Kung Fu clan. The Pai Zhua select their three top members, Jarrod (Bede Skinner), Theo (Aljin Abella), and Lily (Anna Hutchison), to become the new guardians of Dai Shi.

As the initiation ceremony grows closer Jarrod becomes big headed about his selection and starts to bully others. This results in him being excluded from the ceremony and he is replaced by a rookie named Casey (Jason Smith).

When the initiation ceremony arrives Jarrod gate-crashes the event and attacks Master Mao (Nathaniel Lees), inadvertently breaking the vessel containing Dai Shi’s essence. The freed Dai Shi kills Master Mao and possesses Jarrod’s body and escapes.

The three selected members are sent to the city of Ocean Bluff to seek their new master, and find him to be a man named RJ (David de Lautour) – chef and owner of “Jungle Karma Pizza”. After testing them RJ grants them the powers and abilities of Jungle Power Rangers, making them Earth’s only hope to stop Dai Shi – who along with his Lieutenant Camille (Holly Shanahan), other henchmen, and army of undead Rinshi warriors is attempting to take over the world and allow animals to rule over humans.

Initially RJ acts only as Sensei and trainer to the Power Rangers, but as the series progresses he joins their ranks as the Wolf Ranger. During this time they are also joined by Dominic (Nikolai Nikolaeff) who studied with RJ who becomes the Rhino Power Ranger, and Fran (Sarah Thomson) – originally a customer then employee of Karma Pizza, who is enlisted to watch the monitors and advise of Rinshi attacks while RJ is with the other Power Rangers.

As the show develops, Dai Shi’s henchmen Scorch and Snapper grow jealous of Camille who is becoming Dai Shi’s favourite.  In reality it is Jarrod’s own human spirit fighting against the Dai Shi she is attracted to. As a result, she turns against both them and Dai Shi, enabling Jarrod to throw off its spirit control and the two join the Power Rangers who use their animal spirits finally to defeat Dai Shi and its forces.

In the epilogue, Jarrod goes back to the Pai Zhua to begin his training again, followed by Camille, who later returns as a Power Ranger in her own right. Lily, Theo, and RJ remain at Karma Pizza. Dominic and Fran backpack around the world, and Casey becomes a teacher at the Pai Zhua – with Jarrod and Camille among his students.

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