Somewhat predictably Deboss betrays Dantetsu, and it’s only five hours to global armageddon! In the midst of all this chaos, a knight makes his last stand…
Finally, Kyoryuger is able to muster some pathos for the big finish, and it comes from some unexpected but surprisingly effective places. Combined with the stakes ramping up yet further, this is a great episode and puts the show firmly back on track for a big finale after a few wobbles in the past few weeks. This episode in particular excels at that very Sentai quality – taking something that should be utterly stupid and actually making you really, really care about it.
Let’s begin then with the end of Aigaron, by far and away the most memorable sequence in the episode. It’s pretty brave of any kid’s show to give a character an extended, drawn out death scene like this, even more so if he’s a villain. What I particularly like is that his heroic end doesn’t just absolve him of all crimes. Instead, there’s some genuine dramatic tension between Aigaron and Ian, and a sense that the latter is forgiving the former, sensing how profound the change in him is. Incredible voice acting helps a bundle here too. Yuu Mizushima manages to tune the normally goofy, cocky Aigaron into a sad, broken mess and he’s given unusually strong dialogue to work with. I will say that the ‘dead all along’ twist seems a little unnecessary, and I’m still sort of thinking that this was a hasty last minute rewrite, but at least it ties up a few of loose plot ends that were flapping about. Regardless of my personal dissatisfaction with that aspect, this is an extraordinarily powerful scene that stirs genuine emotion, and is well beyond what I thought the show was capable of. Great stuff.
The other moment I specifically want to mention is the Daigo/Amy meeting just as he’s leaving to face his father. Their on again off again romance – or more precisely, her crush and his obliviousness – have been a thread that has run through most of the show, and has almost always been played for laughs. So I was surprised and delighted that we do finally get this sort of a confession, that’s beautifully underplayed in a manner that the show has only rarely shown it’s capable of. If Aigaron’s death is the big grandstand moment, this is the small cosy one, offering us and the pair something to look for beyond the immediate threat. It’s just a charming little bit of character work that’s appreciated in the midst of the big battles.
Speaking of the battles, they’re competent but hardly the stuff of legend. Daigo’s showdown with his father is curiously underwhelming with very little feeling of high stakes. The ultimate revelation that he was a double agent all along is clever enough and makes a certain amount of sense, but it yet again falls victim to the ‘why did you need to keep this a secret?’ problem that a lot of complex plans do. In contrast, Ian and the team’s rage-filled takedown of Aisurundo is very enjoyable, because we really share in his anger and because the show goes out of its way to milk the emotion of the situation, a good thing in this case.
This was an important episode for Kyoryuger, not just because we’re very close to the end now, but because it proved to me that I do care about these characters and that the show is able to leverage that for serious drama as well as laughs. The fact that I cared more about the villain dying than anything else in this episode probably says something, but at last the show is feeling epic and high stakes. Not long to go now.
- That slow-motion walk away from the exploding Aisurundo is utterly badass
- Gotta love the classic Sentai depiction of hell as ‘we darkened this studio and filled it with dry ice’.
- I’d love Candelia and Luckiero to show up for the final battle, but I’d also be totally OK with them popping up at the very end of the show running a noodle bar or some other dumb joke like that.
- Exceptionally strong crop of Dancing Heroes this week, but let’s give it to the martial arts team.