Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sentai Time! Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger

You'll be surprised when you much I liked this one!
Translation: Charging Squad Dinosaur Person
Number of Episodes: 48
Original Run: 2013-2014
Theme: Dinosaurs
Adaptation: Power Rangers Dino Charge

Greetings, and welcome to Sentai Time! We’re kicking off this series with Kyoryuger, the show that got me into this series. This is only a review of the first 12 episodes, but expect follow-up reviews of this one.

The Concept
Yes, a bird is leading a group of dinosaur warriors. How? Heck of I know.
Millions of years ago, dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Their rule was finally ended by the alien force known as the Deboss Army. The Deboss quickly wiped out the dinosaurs, save for those that finally managed to trap the evildoers in Arctic ice. Now in present day, the Deboss have finally thawed out, and plan for the brutal extinction of humanity. The Wise God Torin (who is a bird, by the way) plans to counter the Deboss by recruiting the only people capable of wielding the dinosaur's spirit: the Kyoryugers.

The Sentai
The first five. From left to right: Ian, Nobuharu, Daigo, Amy, and Souji.

Note: “Sentai” is japanese for “fighting squad.” Hence, this section is about the main squad of heroes.

The Kyoryugers include Daigo (Kyoryu Red), the excitable and friendly world traveler, Ian (Kyoryu Black), a philanderous sharpshooter, Nobuhide (Kyoryu Blue), a repairman and master of bad puns, Souji (Kyoryu Green), the quiet highschool swordsman, and Amy (Kyoryu Pink), the tomboyish rich girl. Eventually joining the team is Utsusemimaru (or “Ucchii”, Kyoryu Gold), a swordsman from the past, and Ramirez (Kyoryu Cyan), a spirit of a 500-year old warrior.

The Kyoryugers with Ucchii. By the way, those batteries are the source of their power. Guess you need more than Duracell to save the day.
The heroes in this story are very endearing, mostly because of how fun they are. They work well off each other and supply many funny moments, and more than once prove themselves to be sympathetic characters. There’s plenty to like about each one of them, especially Ucchii, who struggles to adjust to modern times, and Nobuharu, who always seems to have a terrible pun for every occasion. My one complaint is that the cast is developed unevenly, as Kouji gets little development when compared to characters like Nobuharu. Other than that, the Sentai has proven themselves to be worthwhile characters.

The Villains
The Deboss Army. From left to right: Aigallon, Dogold, Chaos, Candelira, and Luckyuro.

The Deboss army consists of the high priest Chaos and his three knights: Dogold, the ever irritable Knight of Anger, Aigallon, the ever sorrowful Knight of Sadness, and Candelira, the ever pink Knight of Joy. The knights use their powers to create Debo Monsters, whose primary goal is to cause the emotion of their creator. For example, if Aigallon created a monster, the monster would try to cause sorrow. The emotions are the source of energy that the Deboss need to resurrect their master and bring forth humanity’s extinction.

This guy removes your vertebrae to make you a mindless fanboy. That is odd, terrifying, and awesome at the same time.

The knights may be one trick ponies, but they’re very entertaining ones. They each have their own flair, be it Candelira’s horrifying optimism or Aigallon’s flamboyant bishi tears. The monsters are pretty hit or miss though. There are great ones, like a illusion creating monster with a flag-shaped scythe, and then there are lame ones, like a cake baking monster with whisk for a hand (to be fair, he can cause cavities). I have to admit that the emotion gimmick is pretty creative, but some of the monsters just don’t do it for me.

The Mecha
The Zyudenryu. From left to right: Zakutor, Stegotchi, Gabutyra, Dricera, and Parasagun.
The mecha for this show, or Zyudenryu, are dinosaur themed machines. The main mech, KyoryuJin, isn’t formed out of all of them, but instead has the main body made up of Gabutyra (a red T-Rex), with two other mechs forming different arms. This is a pretty neat concept, but it gets a bit tiring to see most non-Gabutyra not get a lot of importance other than being a shield or gun. However, I will say that Ucchii’s mech, Pteraiden-Oh, is made of all sorts of win. While the mecha are pretty blocky, they pack enough flashy attacks to stay awesome.

The Fights
This explosion is the result of bravery and gunpowder! Mostly gunpowder, though.
Ah yes, the main reason anyone watches a Sentai show (besides extreme silliness). I have to say, the fights between the Kyoryugers and the Deboss Army are really solid. They are well choreographed, showing off each of the Kyoryuger’s styles (Nobuharu’s pragmatic wrestler-esque combat, Daigo’s capoeira-like rushdown style, etc). Probably the best parts are where the Kyoryuger are taking crowds of enemy grunts, as it best displays the combat prowess of each member. And I hope you like explosions, because they are everywhere. The fights are really good, if not a bit over-the-top.

The Music

This music is simply made of win. With elements of rock, ska, and latin pop, the music in this show is incredibly infectious. It is filled with pumping rhythms and kickass melodies, and there are very few duds in this entire soundtrack.

The Verdict
Kyoryuger is a fun show. With an endearing and entertaining cast, great fight scenes, and amazing music, you're guaranteed to have a blast. There are a few things it could have done better, but it doesn't detract too heavily from the experience. You don’t have to indulge in silliness to love this show.

8/10 - Great

Hope you enjoyed the first Sentai Time! As always, I encourage you to leave a comment. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

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