Did you know that the human brain will over time start to identify TV characters as friends? For real; every time you start crying like a baby over a death scene it's cause that gremlin in yer skull thinks it just lost a loved one. Over the course of your life there will be anywhere from hundreds to thousands of fictional friends, and just like the real ones, they come in all varieties. For instance; have you ever known someone that you'd rather not spend time with yet their close with some of your other friends? The kind that you put up with for the sake of everyone else. I want you to meet a TV equivalent today. Her name is Kasumi. After spending the past few episodes doing nothing much of interest she's finally revealed her personality and the results are, shall we say, problematic? Tell ya what. Let's run through the episode proper since the big issue comes at the end anyway.
Wasting no time we start up with the birth of this weeks monster. He's a satellite dish who hands out silver balloons to people. Doesn't sound too evil does he? He claims his only goal is to be popular. After debating the proper course of action, Kasumi convinces the team to take turns keeping watch on him in case he turns out to be evil. During a shift change, Yakumo notes that she's been both late and seemingly exhausted lately. Turns out that she's pulling double duty as both a ninja and college student. During this conversation we finally get some back story on her. Turns out when she was young, grandpas stories about communicating with aliens 30 times inspired her to study science. Pulling double shifts just doesn't have leave time for rest. He suggests that she may have to give up on her scientific goals because of her responsibility as a ninja.
Yakumo gets some great character development here as we discover how much he cares for the people around him. During a conversation with Fuka in which they talk about people who hold onto childhood dreams or how those dream may change, he's obviously torn up about the prospect of telling Kasumi to give up on her goals. Who woulda thought the guy with zero facial expressions could be such a softy.
Eventually the monster makes its move by using all those balloons as a transmission network so he can display huge illusions of the big baddie, Kibaoni attacking the town and thous gathering fear. It's the smartest plan the villains have come up with so far. Good on them. Topping it off, satellite guy can even take over the giant robots, making them useless in the fight. The battles's not going so well until Kasumi shows up. Yakumo tells her she shouldn’t give up on her goals which confuses her as she didn't consider doing any such thing (that's big of her). Then she pulls out a new invention that sends waves through the monsters network and destroys his transmission. The team gets a new UFO companion bot which allows them to chase the monster all the way to the moon and destroy him. According to grandpa, this UFO was the very first companion. He used it's alien technology to craft the other bots for his grand kids. With ninjas, demons, wizards, and now aliens, this is getting to be one complicated world.
If the episode had ended about there it'd mostly be a fine, if unremarkable, half hour but then comes the twist. Upon returning to the base, everyone asks how Kasumi knew the monsters plan. Turns out she knew right from the start that he was evil along with his plans for the balloons. When asked why she failed to share this info, she simply states that nobody asked her..........excuse me? Let's lay this out. She knows the monster's evil, figures out it's plan immediately, doesn't inform her teammates of the danger (suggesting a stake out instead), which leads to an attack during which panic ensues, meaning people were hurt and the villains gathered the fear they treasure so much. Not to mention what could have happened if the monster retained control of the bots for any longer. All this, because nobody thought to ask her? To top it off she never thinks of making any personal sacrifice to help protect the world. Don't get me wrong, I like to see a hero accomplish their dreams while protecting the innocent but she never even considers making a sacrifice for the common good. What an asshole!
It's a shame to have the first sentai character I actively dislike cause the rest of the team is mostly good. Sure they're a bit underdeveloped & Takahara can be annoying but they still seem like genuinely nice people who have someone dull & awful along for the ride. Speaking of rides, next time we're getting a team-up with Kamen Rider Drive. Look forward to it.