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Into the Spandex

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The first time Reiko heard of the Power Rangers was August 29, 1993. She remembered everything about that day vividly. She was eating a bowl of miso ramen and had flipped to the news after her favorite drama ended. On screen was a girl clad in pink and white spandex with a bow and arrow in hand. Reiko was transfixed.

The pink clad warrior vaguely reminded her of Kamen Rider or the Metal Hero series. This was different. This was real life and there were two women, standing right up there with the men. They fought just as fiercely and they got knocked down just as hard.

After that she was always checking the news or magazine articles about the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers in between acting auditions. It turned out there was only one female member. The experts in the news said that, despite popular belief, the Yellow Ranger was also male. To Reiko, that just made the Pink Ranger even larger than she had seemed before.

It wasn’t long after the first appearance of the Power Rangers that she found that advertisement to audition for a new children’s show. Reiko wasn’t about to be picky, a children's show could pay the bills just as well as a more serious job. She was one of dozens of women auditioning. The script was odd. It involved things like Dino Bucklers and tribes.

When she read from the script it felt right. It was like she was meant to be saying these words. She threw everything, her heart and soul, into this audition.

They called her back once. Then they called her back a second time. On the third time they called her back she got the role.

It wasn’t until she read the script for the first episode that she realized just what this was, a TV show about the Power Rangers. She, Chiba Reiko, was going to be playing the Pink Ranger that she admired so much.