Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sentai Time! Double Follow-up

In order to clear up some backlog, I’ve decided to do follow-ups of both Kyoryuger and Shinkenger at once. Sounds unwieldy? Maybe, but I think its worth trying trying. Let’s start with…

New Rangers
Kyoryu Silver and his partner Bragigas supply up to one-fifth of the world's badass.
It’s worth mentioning that Kyouryuger is the Super Sentai series with the most rangers, with 10 rangers spread over 21 different characters. That being said, the tenth ranger, Kyoryuger Silver, is easily my favorite auxiliary ranger of the series (it wouldn’t be fair to call him a 6th ranger, because the team already has one). His debut was so damn awesome I couldn’t help but smile the whole way through. It also helps that he’s one of the shows best characters. I won’t spoil his identity, but I definitely look forward to him lending his strength more often.

Make sushi. Act hammy. Beat up demons. All in a day's work.
As for Shinkenger, the sixth ranger of the the team is Genta, Takeru’s childhood friend who becomes Shinken Gold in battle. I honestly have mixed feelings about Genta. A lot of his actions are carried out in this manic energy that made Go-Onger so annoying for me. His wild actions seem seem to tone down as the show progressed, but the energy his actor puts in the role is often too over-the-top. However, in battle, Shinken Gold probably has my favorite style out of all the Shinkengers, and I have to admit his manic actions carry over well when in the suit. He’s growing on me, but it’ll take a while to get over the lousy first impression.

New Mecha
This is Bragi-Oh, who must be a RPG character because his weapon is as big as he is.
The newest mech in Kyoryuger is Bragigas, a silver brachiosaurus robot and partner of Kyoryu Silver. Just like his partner, Bragigas has a brilliant debut, with his humanoid form, Gigant Bragi-Oh, completely no-selling all the enemies’ attacks. He’s probably my favorite giant Zyudenryu, but I have to say its fusion with Kyoryuzin is probably more dorky than like an ultimate weapon. Still, you can go wrong with a giant robot with an axe as big as it is.

The crown makes it all work.
Shinkenger brings the Ebi Origami, a gold lobster mech created by Shinken Gold, to the party. Its humanoid form, Daikai-Oh, a colorful robot with several different weapons based on the four cardinal directions. Daikai-Oh is a very versatile and very interesting robot, but what really steals the show is Daikai Shinken-Oh, a fusion of Shinken-Oh and Daikai-Oh. The design is steller, and its ultimate attack is a true spectacle. As far as ultimate weapons go, its really, really cool.

Super Forms
Too silly, you say? Not silly enough, say I!
At this point in both series, the super form has been introduced. For Kyoryuger, the only ranger to have a super form is Kyoryu Red. His super form is called Kyoryu Red Carnival, and it allows him to borrow the powers of Kyoryuzin’s various combinations. This form packs several new, flashy attacks, and the ability to change armaments mid battle is something I really like. I do have to protest that Kyoryu Red is the only one to get the super treatment, but most fights that have had Kyoryu Red Carnival have been very enjoyable.

"Elvis Goes to Japan" never really took off.
Shinkenger’s super form had a much better build-up, but I found the payoff to be more disappointing. Yes, the first use of it by Shinken Red is pretty impressive, but the super form doesn’t look very...super. I’ll admit I haven’t seen it in action too much, but I still find the super form to be underwhelming.  

Thoughts on Kyoryuger
For a brief time, the Deboss Army had a new general: Endolf, the Chevalier of Hate. despite being based on a candle (of all things, a candle is what you chose?), he’s probably the strongest knight in service of Deboss. There isn’t much I can say against him. I like his personality, his fighting style, his sexy voice, and especially his combat prowess. My only objection to him is that he disappears after only a few episodes (for plot relevant reasons that I won’t spoil). Had he stuck around, I would have loved it.

Other than that, Kyoryuger is progressing smoothly, and I’m still enjoying the show an awful lot. It’s lighthearted without being void of entertainment. It’s energetic without being manic. The fights are as excellent as ever. I’m totally looking forward to the final 12 episodes.

Thoughts on Shinkenger
Super Sentai may be a kid’s series, but Shinkenger can get dark sometimes. How dark? How about one of their villains being a woman scorned who burned down her crush’s wedding? How about another villain who became a demon so that he could experience the joy of killing for a longer time? But despite this, Shinkenger never gets too gloomy. It maintains a great balance between its darker elements and the light elements usually found in Super Sentai. I look forward to the next set of episodes.

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