Sensei Jason: Martial Arts Mentor Phenom
This “What if Character Trained by Mentor” meme originally belongs to MagicalKeyPizzaDan and is dedicated to all of my friends, fellow artists, fans, and brethren who are admirers of Jason David Frank as an actor, a martial artist, and as a martial arts instructor as well as The Splendid Seven consisting of Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha, Shuran, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran. Sit back, relax, and revel in how Sensei Jason played by, of course, the one and only Jason David Frank makes for a down-to-earth, unconditionally loving, caring, and firm mentor to seven formidable and rambunctious young Yokai martial artists in the form of The Splendid Seven consisting of Sesshoumaru, Shuran, Inuyasha, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran. Furthermore, if you are not careful, you may learn something from Sensei Jason and The Black Belt Crew before it’s done. Hiyah! Shu! Yah! Shu! Urasah! Shu! Hwah!
Happy Father’s Day, everybody, especially to all of the fathers, grandfathers, uncles, stepfathers, and father figures of the world, especially my own father. I would like you to imagine yourselves traveling back to 1996 regardless if you were children or parents already with children or if you were anime and Power Rangers aficionados during this time period. Picture yourselves tuning into the television one Saturday morning, specifically on Cartoon Network, with a bowl of cereal of any kind plus a glass of orange juice. You are excited to see the new show starring Jason David Frank from Power Rangers fame voicing a character modelled after him by the name of Sensei Jason, thus having him portray a mentor figure who juggles his sensei duties with his duties as a college student. His wards are seven young Yokai martial artists who are extremely talented, strong, courageous, and determined souls with moves which can rival any expert world-class martial artist. You are not only enthralled by the kick-butt action involving Sensei Jason but also his young wards known as The Black Belt Crew consisting of 15-year-old Sesshoumaru a black belt in Shotokan Karate, Kyokushin Karate, and Jujitsu; 14-year-old Inuyasha a black belt in Taekwondo, Hapkido, and Judo; 14-year-old Shuran an expert in Sambo, Vale Tudo, and Sumo Wrestling; 13-year-old Hakkaku an expert in Muay Thai, Kajukenbo, and Pradal Serey; 13-year-old Ginta an expert in Lethwei, Sanda, and Pencak Silat; 11-year-old Ayame a specialist in Kickboxing, Boxing, and Nippon Kenpo; and 9-year-old Shunran a specialist in Capoeira, Shaolin Kung Fu, and Wing Chun. Aside from learning about these various martial arts, you are also thoroughly involved in the stories and hijinks Sensei Frank and The Black Belt Crew get themselves into ranging from solving mysteries to stopping crime from occurring to overcoming the villains’ machinations to being entangled in unusual situations which are all helped by morals and values viewers like us can learn to appreciate, cherish, and make them a way of life. Accompanying Sensei Jason and his seven young Yokai warrior wards are his best friends who are also recurring characters in the forms of Esteban voiced by Steve Cardenas, Jonathan voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch, and Corinne voiced by Karan Ashley. Moreover, much like previous shows such as Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids and Mister T, each episode would have a prologue and an epilogue of Jason David Frank himself in the flesh as well as Steve Cardenas, Karan Ashley, and Johnny Yong Bosch in select episodes also in the flesh introduce us to today’s episode and give their final words on the lessons learned. There would even be occasions where Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha, Shuran, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran still in their anime forms join Jason David Frank in the prologue and in the epilogue. Therefore, Sensei Jason and The Black Belt Crew would be the 90s equivalent to Mister T’s high octane action, Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos’ emphasis on making martial arts fascinating and cool, and Fat Albert’s viewer approachability. The result is a show which both the young and the young at heart would thoroughly enjoy and be entertained with thanks to its blend of martial arts action, wholesome family values, fun comedy, genuine human drama, and good morals and values being implemented without being preachy, condescending, and patronising. Moreover, this show would run every Saturday morning on Cartoon Network from 1996 to 1999 and see accolades including some Emmys and Annie Awards for Best Daytime Children’s Program because of how it manages to be both entertaining and brilliant in touching upon important morals and values as well as touching upon serious topics.
Speaking of morals and values, Sensei Jason and The Black Belt Crew would touch upon important topics which children learn in their daily lives such as the importance good health, the importance of a balanced diet and lifestyle, dealing with first crushes, handling peer pressure, safety as a priority, self-esteem, close family ties, dealing with school bullies, and how martial arts should be used to protect others and neither to show off nor to inflict violence, specifically where the codes of brother- and sisterhood, confidence, cooperation, attitude, self-respect, respect, dedication, and discipline are concerned. Aside from these themes revolving around close family ties and maintaining good relationships among others, they would also not be afraid to touch upon more serious topics such as children in troubled backgrounds, gun violence, gang wars, kidnapping, child abuse, parental abandonment, depression, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, discrimination in the forms of sexism and racism, gender equality, divorce, being in abusive relationships, pedophilia, suicide, death, and sexuality. Through all the physical and mental training Sensei Jason would do with his young Yokai wards, he would also implement the importance of good communication and to never bottle anything up if ever there are issues that arise. Something that they also have in common is that Sensei Jason and The Black Belt Crew are also young parents, for the real-life Jason David Frank became a father at 19 years old with his first wife, Sesshoumaru is a single dad, Shuran and Hakkaku are also single fathers, Inuyasha and Ayame were married with first sons of their own, and Ginta and Shunran became first-time parents, thus touching upon the issues of teen pregnancy and the responsibility being a young parent entails. For a show that would have aired from 1996 to 1999 every Saturday morning on Cartoon Network, Sensei Jason and The Black Belt Crew would not be afraid to touch upon serious topics and would be really ahead of its time, thus seeing wide viewership and a show that would really stand the test of time.
The show’s formula would involve a high octane opening involving Sensei Jason and the Black Belt Crew demonstrating their various martial arts skills, kicking villain butt, and emerging on top with Esteban, Jonathan, and Corinne cheering them on and the title card in bold red colours popping on the screen akin to Mister T and Karate Kommandos. There would also be a hint of Fat Albert with the real life Jason David Frank reminding us the viewers that, if we are not careful, we may learn something from today’s episode, with him shouting Kiai and throwing various striking attacks. After that fun and thrilling opening, Jason David Frank himself in live-action form would introduce today’s episode and what he and his wards are about to get into. The main show proper would be in anime form as illustrated and designed by the same people who would eventually work on the 2000 Inuyasha anime. Preliminary hijinks of Sensei Jason, Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha, Shuran, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran would be expected, especially with Sensei Jason being the cool and wise big brother mentor figure to his wards. The parental figures would also play substantial roles in each episodes in the forms of The Wolf Elder, Toga the Dog General, InuKimi, and Izayoi making frequent visits to see how Sensei Jason and their progeny are faring. After that, comes the main action where the crime of the day is afoot, and it is up to Sensei Jason and The Black Belt Crew to suit up and get ready to kick villain butt with their furious fists, fleet feet, and quick wit to overcome their foes. The crimes of the day would range from petty theft to arson to kidnapping to gang violence, while being interspersed with important morals about never letting discrimination ruin potential friendships, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, and/or showing honour to one’s craft as a martial artist. The villains would meet their defeat with Sensei Jason’s and The Black Belt Crew’s united efforts and skills as a team. Some dark moments and themes may occur in certain episodes, but that is also part for the course in terms of this show revolving around a down-to-earth martial arts sensei juggling his teaching duties with his life as a college student and his seven young Yokai warrior wards. The main episode ends and viewers are treated to the epilogue where Jason David Frank himself once again in live-action form would summarise what has happened and the moral behind today’s episode, bidding us the viewers until the next time with a martial arts bow. The credits roll with that same high octane opening but with instruments only, and viewers anticipate the next episode.
The Black Belt Crew or Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha, Shuran, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran behind the scenes would have nothing but gratitude, laudability, and genuinely kind words to say about Sensei Jason David Frank. 15-year-old Sesshoumaru would consider him to be a knowledgeable and understanding person who always wanted the best for them. 14-year-old Inuyasha would affirm that he was a compassionate and approachable person who always did what he could to help him and his family reach greater heights. 14-year-old Shuran would claim that he was a kind and fair soul who always saw the best in everybody. 13-year-old Hakkaku would perceive him to be a fun and warm soul who livens the set. 13-year-old Ginta would see him as a genuine and disciplined person who never has an agenda behind anybody’s back. 11-year-old Ayame would find him encouraging and clever as a martial artist and as a person who always ensured that they lived their best lives possible. 9-year-old Shunran would find him charming and dashing as a gentlemen who always had a selfless heart, while also having a bit of a friendly crush on him. Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha, Shuran, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran could not have asked for a more approachable, down-to-earth, and cool sensei such as Sensei Jason David Frank.
Sensei Jason David Frank would also have kind and encouraging words to say about Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha, Shuran, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran. Out of all the seven young Yokai martial artists, Frank would consider Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha to be his most favourite co-stars to work with because of how disciplined, strong, and dedicated they were as martial arts specialists who always reached greater heights and honoured the code with all of their beings, with Sesshoumaru showing more stealth and Inuyasha showing more muscle, thus complimenting each other so perfectly. Where Shuran was concerned, he was fully aware of his two sides being the rough-and-tumble fighter ready to lock opponents in submission holds and the genuinely warm soul who deeply cared for his family and friends. Hakkaku and Ginta would be like the fun-loving little brothers he would have loved to have thanks to their positive energy, willingness to learn, and readiness to get the work done. Ayame would be someone he could see so much abundance and potential to grow as a strong, determined, and dedicated fighter because of how she never backed down from combat and always demonstrated let alone exuded perseverance and confidence in everything she did. Finally, Frank would perceive Shunran as that fun-loving, cheeky, cheery little sister who enjoyed pulling pranks while also bearing an unconditionally loving and appreciative soul who always kept the family together. Sensei Jason David Frank would be very thankful to have worked and gotten acquainted with Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha, Shuran, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran. Furthermore, he would even jettison and commission Cartoon Network’s Toonami in 2000 to have Inuyasha, Shuran, Sesshoumaru, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran star as the main heroes of Mighty Morphin Inurangers, thus being inspired from his tenure as a Power Ranger himself, having confidence that his seven co-stars would prolong the Power Rangers’ legacy in anime form, and creating what would very well be Toonami’s juggernaut show and franchise.
When you have a martial arts instructor with years of experience training in the martial arts ever since he was a toddler, opening up his own karate school at the tender age of 18 years old, finding himself in a franchise juggernaut such as the Power Rangers franchise, thus becoming the face and moves of said franchise, and eventually find himself on an animated show starring him in the lead role alongside seven young Yokai martial artists in the forms of Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha, Shuran, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran, you know fully well that this would effectively strike lightning in a bottle. Combining kick butt martial arts action, learning about various martial arts such as Karate, Taekwondo, Wrestling, Muay Thai, Lethwei Kickboxing, and Capoeira, and dealing with very serious and relevant issues would give Sensei Jason and The Black Belt Crew a whole lot of leverage to viewers of all ages and make this entire show and the cast a household word during the near tail-end of the 1990s. Therefore, this would be something Jason David Frank, Steve Cardenas, Johnny Yong Bosch, Karan Ashley, The Wolf Elder, Toga, InuKimi, Izayoi, Sesshoumaru, Shuran, Inuyasha, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran would be really happy to be involved and something that would have a long-lasting legacy on the viewers.
If you enjoyed this filled-up meme, what do you think? Would you have wanted to tune in to Cartoon Network to watch Sensei Jason and The Black Belt Crew kick some bad guy butt and learn some valuable lessons? Would this have been your idea of great entertainment every Saturday morning? Do you even see this jettisoning back in 1996? Would you also recommend this show to anybody who is a fan of Jason David Frank, Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha, Shuran, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran? Do you think this show would be a great idea to the point where this would last for three or more years? Please comment below and let me know.
I hope you all enjoyed this, and I will see you in the next submission. Take care, stay safe, and may the power protect you, everybody.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Karate Club The White Ranger Kata belongs to Saban, Toei, and Jason David Frank.
Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha, Shuran, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran from Inuyasha belong to Rumiko Takahashi and Sunrise.