Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger Episode 29

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Recap: The Spirit Rangers come to aid the team, but it’s too late for Torin. Or is it?…

Zigg‘s Thoughts: There were so many brilliantly stupid things in this episode that I loved it to bits. It’d be perfect if it didn’t sort of descend a little too far into dumb toy pimping. As it is though, the first two thirds of the episode provide so many golden moments it’s easy to overlook a little slack towards the end.

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One of the things I really want to applaud is the way the show has handled the extra rangers. Yes, I’ve complained about Yayoi not being a ‘full time’ team member, especially since she seems to be around a lot. But largely Kyoryuger has done a great job of making it fell like its guest stars are genuinely in and out of the story, rather than banishing them as a cost cutting measure. As a result, it’s a real thrill to see Tessai and Ramirez return, especially since they’re not just used as beatdown targets, but instead get to be genuinely heroic. They accomplish exactly what returning characters should, giving the action a shot in the arm while freeing the main cast to do plot related stuff.

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And what plot-related stuff! OK, objectively bringing someone back to life through magical singing might be the dumbest thing in the world, but this is a franchise which has bought people back from the dead in so many stupid ways already it’s pretty excusable. Plus, there’s actually an attempt to plug it into continuity. It’s done via a clumsy and poorly integrated chunk of exposition from a movie we haven’t seen, but the effort is nice if nothing else. It’s so marvelously corny that you want to get into it. That’s Kyoryuger’s magic, and the magic of all the best toku shows – so fervently does it believe its own hype you get swept up in the silliness and believe it as well.

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The weakness of this episode definitely comes at the end, with the tidal wave of stock footage and hot toy pimping. The repeated form changes and associated footage of a man inserting and removing plastic batteries just completely kills the pace, and while it’s stupid the powerup is not sufficiently mad to distract from the repetition of the gimmick. It’s a shame too because the action is otherwise excellent in this episode, pacy, well directed and very over the top.

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There’s even some serious plot development popped in right at the end here. Actually, the entire little Deboss intrigue bit at the end is a mini-masterpiece of storytelling. Distracting Luckiero with shoujo puzzles is the best kind of writing – it’s funny, a callback and completely in character all at once. And Dogold bodyjacking Endolf is just super smart storytelling.  It re-establishes Dogold as the main Deboss threat, gives him a well explained powerup and even provides an understanble motive – the closeness of the emotions. This was a magnificent episode of Kyoryuger and while it wasn’t perfect, the fun remains constant, blending smarts with stupidity for an unbeatable high.

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Random Observations

  • Also super smart – Tessai’s double wig joke. Best way to explain away a continuity glitch is to make fun of it like that. In a similar vein, Yayoi’s ‘I’m not dead’ aside gives us all the fun of a joint role call and explains it away with ease.
  • A reminder that Koichi Sakamoto directs this show – musical accompaniment to a G-rated panty shot of Yayoi.
  • There’s something impossibly endearing to Torin’s proclamations about how LOVE AND BEAUTY AND DINOSAURS turned him into a good guy. A show less earnest than this wouldn’t dare try it, as it is it’s just darling.

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