New Kyoryugers are born as the final battle approaches! As the team struggle to reach Deboss, Utchy must face his nemesis Dogold one last time
For the second episode in a row, it’s the death of a bad guy that takes centre stage, and for the second week in a row it’s amazingly effective. I guess that speaks to how well Kyoryuger has been able to build our attachment to these characters, inspite of the fact they’re ostensibly against the guys we’re rooting for. As it is, the show shows that, despite some hiccups along the way, it’s finally learned to blend its comedy and action chops, and the result is both some satisfying payoff and a tantalising setup for the finale.
To begin with let’s deal with Dogold though. He’s been the show’s flagship villain for much of it’s run, memorably irascible and a force to be reckoned with in combat. It’s only fitting that he gets to go out the way he does, defiant to the end, but perhaps at last making his peace with Utchy. I don’t think anyone didn’t expect him to turn on Endolf – the setup is just too obvious – but it’s the execution which really still gives this twist legs. By turning at precisely the right moment, it’s a tremendously dramatic scene, and there’s a definite punch-the-air quality to Dogold and Utchy teaming up to take down a mutual enemy. It’s a great way for Dogold’s arc to come full circle too, regaining his warrior’s pride and at the same time swallowing it enough to team up with Utchy. The post Endolf showdown is a perfect way for him to go, a noble finish that still preserves his essential badassery and keeps him in the villain camp (as Aigaron mentioned, he is a murderer) but allows some small measure of reconciliation between the two foes. I’m a sucker for a good ‘not so different’ finish and this was right up there. He even avoids the dignity of an explosive death, instead getting the heroes’s ‘disappears into light’ passing. We’ll miss you, angry man.
The rest of this episode wasn’t nearly as substantial, but did a pretty good job of making up for it with lots and lots of flash. The biggest advancement is of course the arrival of two ‘new’ Kyoryugers, namely Tessai’s descendant Shinya and Nobuharu’s sister Yuko. It’s kind of a nice little wrinkle, but honestly it matters so little at this point that it can seem sort of redundant, though I’m assuming this is to set up a big ending where all ten members of the team are both human and alive. There’s also the cool gauntlet run that the team has to endure, a great way to showcase the individual members and get them some cool action scenes before Daigo inevitably saves the day. Their inability to transform is a ridiculous plot contrivance, but it’s also a contrivance that leads to awesome unmorphed fights (a Sakamoto speciality) so I’m completely willing to forgive it. I think it’s also really cool that it’s Amy who gets to stick by Daigo and ride with him into the belly of the beast. Maybe they’re making a big last minute push to make that relationship a thing? Regardless, this was an excellent episode, mixing fantastic action with real heart, and the perfect setup for the big finale. It’s going to get wild!
- Nobuharu’s outrageous attempt to cover up his ‘secret’ identity from Yuko was a great little bit. Also cool to note that with Yuko on the team we’ve now got a pretty decent 7 men/3 women split.
- Luckiero appears very briefly in this episode, leading me to hope he and Candelia are going to play a crucial part in the finale. I don’t think it’s coincidence Chaos once again stresses how totally disposable his minions are.
- There’s a lot of fighting and a lot of flips and explosions in this episode, and it’s all great. Good work stunt team.
- Dr Ulshade! It’s cool to see him back, but was having him here just to pilot a giant robot really necessary?
- Even by the standards of the genre, Ian and Souji’s arm bump is comically homoerotic.
- Utchy is not dead. Don’t be stupid. He CAN’T be dead. Can he…?