After watching Zyuranger (thankfully NOT in bad dubs) and rewatching Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers season one, I simply am stuck with the dilemma. For one, I have a like/dislike relationship with Power Rangers to which for me, it's one item in the menu that I wouldn't order compared to the servings of Super Sentai. But I could always have a lower opinion on Mei and a higher opinion on Kimberly.
If I'm to talk, the main reason why I like Kimberly over Mei is due to the actress. I always thought about a comparison of the two. True, I like most of the Zyurangers over their Mighty Morphin' coutnerparts but I'm always ready to pick Kimberly over Mei anytime. Both actresses have their own charm but I always thought one is better than the other. Others may say, "Well it's apples and oranges." If that is no, then it's like I'm choosing the orange (Kimberly) over the apple (Mei). This is strange considering that I prefer Super Sentai over Power Rangers.
I would like to do some acting comparison between actresses. Mei's charm is in her cuteness, Kimberly is really hot which ironically, Super Sentai ends up offering prettier girls for me. But I always had my more positive opinion on Kimberly than it will be on Mei - you read that, OPINION.
I started to look at the acting performances and I could raise at least two episodes that were similar yet different. One was "Foul Play in the Sky" from Mighty Morphin' and the other is "Fire the Golden Arrow" from Zyuranger. So what's my opinion? I really love the episode of "Fire the Golden Arrow" better than "Foul Play in the Sky". I always thought that heck, writers should have actually had Kimberly in that scenario but I guess executives meddled in. While looking at the episodes, I feel Reiko's acting is weaker (though she does her stunts better, no questions asked) but Amy Jo is able to express herself better. I felt the same whenever I compare any Mei focus episode with every Kimberly focus episode.
The answer lies in the fact that Reiko was a 17 year old newcomer and Amy Jo actually studied at Lee Stasburg Institute and she was 23 years old at that time (same age Aiko Ito acted as Ranru in Abaranger). I didn't find Mei's dialogue or acting that convincing as Kimberly going hysterical on that plane. I know I find the Zyuranger episodes better but in terms of acting, Amy Jo is much better in that respect. I think she might be a more convincing person trapped in her nightmares than Reiko would have done it.
Reality to reality, as much as I like Zyuranger but I really find it close to impossible for me to really, really like Mei over Kimberly so I ended up making that Photoshopped image above. Mei has her charm, I also like her as a character but I tend to lean on Kimberly more. Maybe it's because I usually prefer hotties than cuties which is strange, considering that I had a crush on Ako Hayasaka in Jetman but then again, my second Tokusatsu crush was Momoko in Maskman. But my first was Hikaru in Bioman who was dubbed as Kimberly... which caused me a "shocker" with MMPR having a Kimberly. Does that make me like Zyuranger less? Not at all. It's just like two brands of ice cream - sometimes the brand of ice cream which I prefer less may have the flavor that I want which my favorite brand of ice cream doesn't have.
At the same time, I pretty much "blame" my fandom on Kimberly Hart to why I like Mako more and like Kotoha less and it's still persisted even to this day. For that show, it felt like it had a tag team of Kimberly and Ako. I saw Zyuranger raw then Shinkenger subbed then Zyuranger subbed later. So guess it's completely my personal preferences more than anything. Again, I find it weird considering that even if I have an Asian upbringing, I find most attractive white girls attractive even if I accept the fact I'm of Chinese descent. It's probably just my preferences right?