Slight change of plan here folks. Today I'm pulling double duty on Ninninger recaps in order to catch up. Yea, yea, I know it's lame to shortchange the recaps; just work with me here.
There's a phrase repeated several times in this episode along the lines of “When things seem like smooth sailing, you must be most cautious.” Seems like the writers were trying to warn themselves after such a solid entry the previous week.. This one almost lived up to that standard before it took a tumble in it's third act.
The main story is that Yakumo's mother is in town holding a fashion show. Apparently she's quite the designer and her focus on fashion extends to her sons studies. For instance she allowed him to study magic as it was the “in thing” while ninjitsu is just a little too old and dusty for her liking. Lady also has a fine centerpiece for her show; a shiny dress adorned with what appears to be the end shuriken. Finally get some backstory on that thing. It's a special shuriken with the power to destroy the world and one of the responsibilities of the last ninja is to keep that thing in check.
The team wants to get the shuriken back but Auntie just doesn't want to part with it which leads to our main conflict. The kids actually have to pull off a mission to swap out the real end shuriken for a fake. Of course their challenged by a magic carpet monster and some upgraded foot soldiers. All that stuff is quite good and results in Yakumo deciding to better combine his ninja and magic skills. Then the rough part happens.
When we get to the usual giant robot fight is where things take a turn for the worse. Mr. Magic carpet turns ours heroes ride to stone and all seems lost until the new kid, Starninger jumps in. Opps; actually he showed up at the start of the episode hunting yokai on his own in search of the end shuriken. Anyhow he's got a rodeo robot amongst other tacky shit. So he beats the monster and shouts a bunch of nonsesne about how cool he is. Let's just say I was more than a little turned off by his appearance. Even so, the show's still smart enough to give us something to keep things interesting. After the wrap up where Yakumo's mom lets him know she's proud and it's revealed that her end shuriken was also a fake, we get one more scene wherein our new gold ranger finds grandpa and attacks him. Now that's a none too shabby cliffhanger.
(This is where I took a break at 2AM to do some banking and mother's day shopping. Have you ever stabilized a glass globe between your legs while riding a moped? Wouldn't recommend it.)
Picking up immediately where we left off, the new guy attacks grandfather at his food cart. The wiley old bastard escapes to the dojo where the kids nurse him back to health. The next morning a threesome of Taka, Fuuka, and Yakumo stake out the park in an attempt to draw out the assailant. That's when the cowboy show up. You heard that right, a cowboy. Our newest hero hails from the American southwest and has all the obnoxious themes to show that fact off. Outside of his cowpoke attire he has an electric guitar sword that also functions as a gun, oh and least I forget to mention that his transformation device is a hamburger. Also his ninja star is more in line with a sheriffs badge and he's big on party night. Really? If you're so into parties does it make much sense to designate a night for it?
Eventually we get the back story on the newbie. While the old man was traveling the globe he met Kinji on a ranch. The kid instantly fell head over heals for the way of the ninja. Gramps didn't want to teach him though so he offered him a challenge; if Kinji could defeat him, then he could become a student of ninjitsu. Old fool thought that would be the end of it. Instead the kid took it all to heart and become a yokai hunter who's really into his work. He makes casts of monster footprints, takes selfies with a creature before killing it. If nothing else the guy loves his work. It's actually an enduring quality, especially when he's disappointed over missing out on the previous fights in the series.
It's not too long before everybody works together to stop some bulldozer monster and things almost seem like they might work out until grandad issues a new challenge. If Kinji can defeat the ninningers, he'll officially become a student of the last ninja. As for the main team; their current training mission is to defeat Kinji which looks like the basis for the next few episode starting with a Kinji/Yakumo dual next week.
I'll admit when Kinji showed up in ep 9 it was worrisome. The writers made the mistake of showing all his obnoxious novelties before giving us a character proper. Episode ten helped to turn that around by giving him an interesting story and placing him in conflict with the team. Very much like the show itself, he's gone from a loud goon that makes you scratch your head to a decent diversion with the potential to be something more.
Phew. Now that I'm caught up on recaps there should be no reason for falling behind again. Now let's just see if I can finish up The Crossing before the next one. Peace!