The team try and stop the Red Ranger stealing the spotlight. They fail obviously.
This episode was a definite misfire on Ninninger‘s path to becoming weekly viewing, and unfortunately it can’t be blamed on anything other than the writing. Kyoryuger worked because despite the ridiculous antics that took place the stories were never less than logical or workmanlike. But here there’s some very definite character missteps, which wind up making the entire story somewhat offputting.
Let’s get right to the heart of the issue – it’s how the writing treats Takaharu. The moral that we’re meant to gain from this episode is a rote Super Sentai one – you’re more powerful as a team than you are alone. That’s fine, it’s a good moral and makes for engaging character fodder for a team based show like this. Problem is, it’s not ever backed up on screen in any meaningful way. Takaharu clearly IS the best of all the Ninningers and even when he’s supposedly taken down a peg by being swallowed he gets out (mostly) by himself. Then there’s the ending battle where he kicks the crap out of the mosnter, gets the sweet new powerup and wins the battle. As far as morals go, this seems to be a pretty lame one.
This not only makes the episode rather boring (since Red Rangers, with a few exceptions, tend to be pretty boring characters) but also so forcibly backgrounds the other members of the team that it’s difficult to take them seriously, either as fighters or characters. Even Cool Grandad seems subdued this episode.There’s not enough silliness or humour to make up for the lacklustre plot and the result is a very flat episode that’s something of a chore to get through. It wasn’t entirely without merit – the new robot is pretty neat and the fight it’s introduced in is ace – but largely this is one which failed to hold my attention. It’s critical Ninninger finds its feet again fast and either cranks up the silly or gets serious with its character work.
- The flickbook trick is probably the best joke in the episode and very cleverly done.
- Cool Dad’s glasses pretty clearly do not have an actual lenses in them.